Maruti Suzuki has commenced testing of the its upcoming YL7 hatchback which is set to replace the A-Star and Estilo in the Indian market while globally the vehicle will replace the Alto and Splash (Ritz). The vehicle was spotted by Vipin near Maruti Suzuki’s Gurgaon plant. The rear of the test mule had heavy resemblance to the A-Star and the front styling will be new. Maruti Suzuki is feeling the heat from Hyundai as the Korean automaker’s Grand i10 is a big threat to the miserably performing (by Maruti standards) A-Star and Estilo (already discontinued).
Maruti Suzuki will leverage its current powertrain options on the upcoming YL7 hatchback. The 1.0-litre, K-Series petrol engine is certainly going to power the car, producing 67 BHP and 90 Nm. However a small capacity diesel engine is under development which will join the lineup later next year. The 800cc, twin-cylinder engine is rumoured to return a fuel mileage of 30 km/l. The YL7 hatchback will be showcased at the 2014 Auto Expo in February 2014 and sales will start in the first half of the year.
Maruti Suzuki wants to retain its leadership position in the Indian market, where it currently enjoys 40%+ market share. The automobile giant has been losing traction in certain price points as it does not have some body styles to offer (crossovers and SUVs). The YL7 hatchback will not only rival the Grand i10 but will also compete with the Honda Brio and Nissan Micra. The drawbacks of the A-Star and Estilo should be addressed with the launch of the YL7 hatchback which will look modern and offer decent interior space.
Spy Picture Source – xBhp