You read it first on MotorBeam. Maruti Suzuki is developing a 2-cylinder petrol engine which is set to find its way into the engine bay of the Alto by 2015. In the past few years, India’s largest car maker has updated all its engines but the 800cc unit continues to soldier on with minor changes to meet newer emission norms. However the current 3-cylinder engine which powers the Alto 800 won’t be able to qualify to stricter emission norms in the future. Bharat Stage V becomes mandatory in 11 cities in the later half of the decade.

Our sources inform us that work on a 2-cylinder petrol engine is on full swing which will replace the current 800cc, 3-cylinder unit. No details about the displacement or power are available yet, but we expect the new motor to be around 800cc in capacity, producing 50 BHP of power and 72 Nm of torque. The current F8D unit produces 47.5 BHP of power and 69 Nm of torque. The new engine will be cheaper to manufacture while offering higher mileage than the motor it replaces.

Maruti Suzuki is working extensively on smaller capacity engines for the Indian market. Although Suzuki’s global lineup does have small capacity petrol engines, they are not feasible for the Indian market due to higher cost of production. The company is also working on a 3-cylinder diesel engine for its entry level cars like the WagonR and upcoming A-Star/Estilo replacement. Although it’s too premature to say at this moment but Maruti Suzuki might soon feel the heat in the small car market from Nissan’s Datsun.