Maruti Fronx hybrid under development for 2025 launch, to offer 35 km/l fuel efficiency
As the auto industry navigates the path towards electrification, Maruti Suzuki is making strategic strides in hybrid technology. Amidst the rush towards electric vehicles, Maruti Suzuki is betting big on hybrids.
The company’s approach involves a multi-fuel strategy encompassing electric, CNG, biofuels and hybrids. Unlike some automakers diving headfirst into EV development, Maruti Suzuki’s hybrid push is gaining traction, buoyed by consumer demand and market response.
One of the significant milestones in Maruti Suzuki’s hybrid journey is the success of the Grand Vitara hybrid, incorporating Toyota’s hybrid powertrain. This model accounted for a substantial portion of Grand Vitara sales in 2023, indicating a promising market for hybrid offerings.
The company’s ambitious strategy includes introducing hybrid variants of popular models like the Fronx, Baleno and Swift, leveraging an in-house developed series hybrid powertrain known as HEV.
The series hybrid system operates on the principle of using a petrol engine solely as a generator or range extender, producing electricity to power an electric motor that propels the vehicle. This approach offers simplicity in design and potentially lower production costs compared to other hybrid configurations.
While series hybrids excel in urban driving scenarios with optimised efficiency and lower maintenance costs, they may face challenges on highways due to the reliance on the electric motor for propulsion. Despite this limitation, Maruti Suzuki anticipates exceptional fuel economy for its HEV-powered vehicles, contributing to meeting future Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) targets. The Fronx hybrid is expected to return over 35 km/l of claimed fuel efficiency.
Maruti Suzuki’s hybrid strategy aligns with evolving consumer preferences and regulatory requirements, positioning the company as a frontrunner in the hybrid race. However, it’s essential to note the potential trade-offs, such as the absence of tax benefits for hybrids compared to EVs and the inherent limitations of series hybrid systems for long-distance driving.
While Maruti Suzuki may have recalibrated its diesel strategy and lagged behind in the EV segment, its focused approach to hybrids underscores a commitment to technological innovation and market responsiveness. As the automotive landscape evolves, the hybrid race emerges as a pivotal arena, where Maruti Suzuki aims to maintain a competitive edge.
Some of the upcoming hybrid cars from Maruti Suzuki include Fronx facelift, 3-row SUV based on Grand Vitara, new generation Baleno, Spacia based MPV and new generation Swift.
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