The Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) is the biggest automobile manufacturer in India. There are many popular Maruti vehicles in the hatchback and sedan segments. Similarly in the MUV segment they have strong contenders like the Eeco, the Ertiga and the Omni all of which have average sales figures of nearly 5000 units per month. The Maruti Gypsy has lost its charm and the SUV Vitara has been withdrawn and is due for a facelift. A compact utility vehicle is missing from the Maruti’s Indian portfolio.
During the 2012 Indian auto show the MSIL has unveiled a crossover the XA Alpha. The other compact vehicles like the Ford EcoSport and the Renault Duster showcased at the same time have already been launched. These two compact SUVs have created ripples in the Indian market and are still among the top selling vehicles in India. The MSIL could not launch the car in time due to some other priorities like the launches of the Alto K10, the Celerio, the Ertiga and the Ciaz. As the model has become outdated a refreshed piece of XA Alpha has been showcased during 2014 Indian auto expo.
The crossover XA Alpha is now expected in the second half of 2015.The Maruti Suzuki XA Alpha will be based on the Swift platform. The MSIL will try to make the SUV externally quite attractive. The radiator grille, the air dam, the bonnet and the headlights will be different from the other models. A muscular stance, high wheel arches, new bumpers and new design tail lamp fittings are expected on the XA Alpha. The cabin is expected to be loaded with sufficient comfort and safety features. A manual AC, rear parking sensors, air bags, ABS, EBD, electrical ORVMs with blinkers and a music system with Bluetooth connectivity are expected on the top variants.
The MSIL will use the 1.3 litre multi-jet Fiat engines for the diesel variants which are already being used in some other models. The engine for the petrol model is likely to be a 1.2 litre K-series engine. Both these engines are expected to have good fuel efficiencies. At a later stage the company may introduce automatic transmission variants both in petrol and diesel.
The dimensions of the 5-seater XA Alpha are expected to be 4000 mm length, 1900 mm width, 1600 mm height, 2500 mm wheel base and a minimum ground clearance of 180 mm. There will be 4×2 and all wheel drive options.
The price range of Maruti XA Alpha is expected to be from Rupees 6.5 to 10.0 lakh. When launched, the Maruti XA Alpha will be competing with the likes of the Ford EcoSport, the Renault Duster and Mahindra Quanto.