Maruti WagonR Diesel
NOTE - this is a speculation in the industry and Maruti Suzuki has not confirmed anything on this front at all
With the Beat diesel, Chevrolet has shown that India is ready for a small capacity diesel engine now in hatchbacks. The current petrol prices and increasing city limits means that people are finding it hard to sustain the running costs of a petrol car. For example, in cities like Mumbai and Delhi where one needs to commute for long distances, the monthly running cost in a petrol hatchback for 2,000km is roughly over Rs 10,000! Maruti already has two hatchbacks with diesel engine, the Ritz and the Swift but their starting price is steep for an average Indian middle class family. We feel this is where the Wagon R comes into the picture.
The current Wagon R petrol starts at Rs 3.36 lakh and this leaves a lot of room for Maruti to price the diesel version appropriately. As is the case with the Chevrolet Beat, Maruti should also use a 3-cylinder version of the same 4-cylinder engine that powers the Ritz and Swift. This means the Wagon R should get a 936cc diesel engine with 58.5PS of power and 150Nm of torque. Although the power will be less as compared to the petrol engine, the torque will be 66% more which will give the Wagon R much better pulling power and hence performance. Another added benefit, and a big one, will be the low running cost, bringing down the per km cost by 50%.
The exterior as well as interiors are expected to remain the same. The Wagon R has always been appreciated for its practical and roomy interiors and they should go down well with the diesel engine. We can only hope Maruti takes this seriously and starts working on the diesel Wagon R, showcases it at the Jan 2014 Auto Expo and eventually launches it early next year! Prices for a new diesel Wagon R should start below the Rs 4 lakh mark, making it India’s cheapest diesel hatchback as well!