India’s market is one of its kinds where every company has got a competitor. Right from power generation units to pen manufacturers. Previously some companies had monopoly but slowly that vanished, the best example is Indian Railways. Every year Indian railways lose some part of its business to the cross-country bus travel agencies. Similarly even fossil fuel; at one point of time the sole leader in the market was petrol but the technology development has changed the scenario drastically. The present Indian market shelters three variants of fuels which include diesel, petrol and small traces of CNG. On the other hand we also find some electric vehicles; but they are still struggling to gain the market.
Coming to diesel; the demand for diesel powered engines has led the companies to bend their spines and work round the clock to provide new variants. The latest example is the Honda City diesel. The car is just a couple of weeks short of launch and bookings have already opened. The Tata’s have promised to come up with the diesel version of the Nano and joining this line-up is Maruti Suzuki.
Maruti Suzuki already uses the 1.3-litre Fiat Multijet engine in its models namely the Swift, Ritz, SX4 and Ertiga. The latest version of the WagonR, the Stingray is all set to join its elder brothers in the diesel market. The diesel variant would be launched in the Stingray version only and not in the standard one. We are expecting the car to be equipped with an 800cc, twin-cylinder, turbo diesel engine with a peak power of 55 BHP. The 800cc motor would be owned by Suzuki and hence we can expect the car to be priced low. This engine would also be used in the YL7 which is replacing the Zen Estilo and A-Star in our country. We are expecting the Stingray diesel to be priced somewhere around Rs 4.75 lakhs (ex-showroom).
Well it’s too early to take a call but economical diesel cars are gearing up to set up a boom in late 2014 and early 2015. The Stingray diesel would be competing with the Nano diesel (in terms of engine specs) which will also be using a similar capacity engine. The engine looks promising but we warn that you may be disappointed with the performance factor. The engine should be producing enough torque for propelling in the cities but we doubt if it can overpower decent gradients. Obviously; asking too much from a sub-litre diesel engine would be nothing but unfair.