In a recent survey, India’s largest automaker Maruti Suzuki could not make it to the list of the top 10 most fuel efficient cars in the country. While the Honda City is the most fuel efficient car in the country today, returning 26 km/l, the Maruti DZire diesel was the company’s most fuel efficient vehicle returning an ARAI certified fuel efficiency of 23.4 km/l. The Indian auto giant however could soon dethrone the big ‘H’ with its upcoming Celerio hatchback that is likely to have a fuel efficiency of 30 km/l from its upcoming 800cc diesel engine.
Maruti engineers in conjunction with the folks at Suzuki Japan have been working on a new 800cc diesel engine for the Y9T light commercial vehicle that will be launched next year. The new engine is vital for the company as it will be the smallest capacity diesel engine to be produced in the country, a title currently held by the Chevrolet Beat’s 936cc diesel unit and is most likely to power several other models in the company’s portfolio in the future. The 800cc diesel mill will also feature a small turbocharger that will help keep the power band at optimum levels.
With ever fluctuating fuel prices, the fuel efficiency of a vehicle is a significant factor that can sway purchase decisions in India. Maruti Suzuki was once the fuel efficiency leader in the country with the Alto small car; however, Honda’s ‘Earth Dreams’ technology on the 1.5-litre i-DTEC diesel powertrain helped the company achieve an impressive fuel efficiency figure on the fourth generation City. While the mileage figures are based on the ideal road test conditions conducted by ARAI, the real world economy on most of these cars aren’t too far behind either.
Nonetheless, the new and proposed norms from the government ask manufacturers to make their vehicles more fuel efficient in the years to come, while also emitting lesser carbon dioxide in the air. The current range of vehicles in India return an average fuel efficiency figure of 16 km/l, but the new norms will increase the average fuel efficiency of vehicles in the country to 18.2 km/l by April 2016. With the Celerio diesel scheduled to launch by the end of the current financial year, Maruti might just take back the top spot from Honda as India’s most fuel efficient car maker.