The road-going Concept Future S micro SUV will likely replace the existing Alto; expected to launch in the final quarter of 2019
Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) has been renewing its domestic portfolio recently with the introduction of new generation products – take Ertiga and Wagon R for instance – while updating other models. The facelifted Ciaz and Baleno are part of that strategy while working on making changes to its powertrains to comply with the BSVI emission standards coming into effect from April 1, 2020.
The largest automaker in the country traditionally had its entry-level models as the heart and soul for extracting volume sales. However, in recent years, the latest crop of vehicles such as Baleno, Vitara Brezza and S-Cross have enabled a successful transition into the brand becoming an affordable yet premium manufacturer and the contribution of Nexa dealerships in this regard has been immense.
The Indo-Japanese manufacturer will be getting rid of the 796 cc engine used in the Alto 800 and Omni and they won’t be upgraded for BSVI compliance. Moreover, the Alto hatchback will be making way to a new generation with stiffened body shell and a myriad of safety-related updates to comply with the Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program (BNVSAP).
First glimpses of the next generation Alto have already arrived on the internet and Maruti Suzuki doesn’t seem to be taking this opportunity lightly as it seeks to enter a new segment. Test prototypes of the Concept Future S based production model have already been spotted and they hint at a possible micro SUV to take on Mahindra KUV100 and the upcoming Tata H2X concept-based model scheduled for next year.
The Alto, despite being around for so long, did manage to sell more than 2.5 lakh units last year and is at a point of being obsolete compared to the latest rivals. The Concept Future S based model could change the proceedings but its market positioning will be interesting to see as even the latest Wagon R is stuffed with plenty of premium goodies.
The exterior design is inspired by the Future S largely with an upright front end, high ground clearance, tall pillars, a compact rear with horizontal tail lights, etc. Powertrain option will likely be a 1.0-litre K series petrol unit upgraded to meet BSVI norms with manual and AMT transmissions. The round-shaped digital instrument cluster from the concept will also enter production judging by the test mules.
Spy Pic Source: TeamBHP