Maruti Suzuki India Limited introduced the diesel variant of its popular model Celerio, calling the car India’s most fuel-efficient, with a mileage of 27.6 km per liter.
The move will be a boost to Maruti Suzuki’s fortunes in India. India’s largest car maker had been seeing its sales numbers under pressure for the last two to three years due to a paucity of good models.
It’s biggest draw – the Swift – was introduced a decade ago, and was showing signs of becoming too ‘plain’ despite being a great car.
Consumers were simply getting tired of buying the car that everyonen else has. The only other option in the range – Ritz, suffered from a ‘broke-back’ look.
Launched in February 2014, Celerio has sold over 95,000 units. Nearly a third of the total sales of Celerio are of the Auto Gear Shift variants.
Celerio has played a pivotal role in strengthening Maruti Suzuki’s position in the lower hatchback segment. Maruti Suzuki’s share in the lower hatchback has shot up to 71% from 61% within a year of Celerio’s launch.
While Celerio avoided the design faux pas that was seen in the latest Alto, the lack of diesel option was seen as a drawback for those who drove more than 10,000 km a month.
In India, diesel is cheaper by about 20% compared to Petrol. For those who drive a lot, therefore, the higher initial cost and maintenance charges are more than compensated by lower monthly fuel bills.
Maruti’s Swift diesel was earlier the king of mileage, with the car giving around 22 km to the liter on regular usage.
Celerio has been instrumental in preventing a rout in Maruti Suzuki’s position in the lower hatchback segment. Maruti Suzuki’s share in the lower hatchback has shot up to 71% from 61% within a year of Celerio’s launch.
The Celerio also has another distinction: Unlike Swift and Ritz, the Celerio comes with an in-house diesel engine. The diesel Celerio also marks the launch of DDiS 125, the first diesel engine designed and developed by Suzuki Motor Corporation.
Swift and Ritz had Fiat’s turbojet diesel engines in them.
The new engine “carries forward the DDiS attributes of swiftness, driveability and compactness, offered in the highly successful diesel vehicles of Maruti Suzuki,” the company claimed.
“DDiS 125 is also the first diesel engine designed and developed by Suzuki Motor Corporation. It is designed to offer a smooth drive and strengthens Celerio’s reputation as a car that offers easy drive in cities as well as on highways. With the launch of Celerio Diesel, the three most fuel efficient cars in India are all Maruti Suzuki cars: Celerio (D), DZire (D) and the premium sedan Ciaz,” said Kenichi Ayukawa, MD & CEO, Maruti Suzuki.
Maruti Suzuki and its suppliers have together invested over Rs 900 crore towards development of DDiS 125 and the company claims that over 97 percent of the components of the engine are made in India.
DDiS 125 cylinder block is all aluminium. DDiS 125 comes with a compact fuel distribution system and a turbocharger suited to a 2-cylinder engine.
Further, by decreasing compression ratio and installing a large intercooler it has combined high torque in low RPM and fuel efficiency. Minimising friction, improving thermal efficiency, adopting low viscosity lubricants have also helped enhance the fuel efficiency in DDiS 125.
The engine inside the new Celerio will offer a peak torque at a low RPM. Equipped with a hydraulic clutch system, Celerio Diesel offers relatively effortless gear changes.
One of the weakest points for Maruti Suzuki compared to competitors like Honda has been refinement and vibration levels. “Vehicle rigidity and powertrain integration has been optimised for lower vibrations and superior cabin isolation. This ensures comfortable passenger experience,” the company said about the new launch.
|35 kW@3500 rpm
|125 Nm@2000 rpm
|880 kgs900 kgs (full options)
Introductory Prices: Ex showroom Delhi
|Celerio ZDi (Optional)