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Maruti Suzuki Swift Hybrid – Anticipatory preview

Perhaps India’s top selling Hatchback, the Maruti Suzuki Swift is at their top game yet again. The Baleno that was launched a while back has taken a throttle over the modern hatchback enthusiasts. That makes the older cousin (Swift) a little less desirable. Main reason you ask? Well, for one, the design language hasn’t changed a tad since the launch.

However, all of that might change. Sources/ rumors and various motorheads suggest the launch of the Hybrid version Swift is on its way. This seems like an effort to lure  buyers towards electric and hybrid vehicles in the country. In fact, the Government of India has recently introduced the FAME India scheme- Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles in India’ – as a part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan. Under the new scheme, the Government announced to offer incentives on electric and hybrid vehicles of upto 29,000 for two-wheelers and 1.38 lakh for cars.

Various carmakers such as Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki are working on such products for the Indian Market. One such product could be the Maruti Swift Range Extender, which has been showcased at multiple events including FAME. However, the company has clarified that it will develop its hybrid models only after getting further clarity about the schemes and incentives.

“The company will develop their hybrid models commercially only after getting further clarity on key aspects, including technology development fund, charging infrastructure and demand incentive.”, said CV Raman, executive director (engineering), Maruti Suzuki.


Swift Range Extender

“Range Extender” dubbed the hybrid variant of Swift was previously being considered to be supplied to the government of India, although this pilot project was shelved for unknown reason, but it seems that the Japanese auto giant is now contemplating to launch it in India for commercial use. The FAME India scheme might bring out this vehicle.

Power will be derived from a low displacement petrol engine, which is likely to generate pretty decent power output something against its low capacity stance. There will be three modes on which this hatchback will be driven around. The launch date is far away, speaking hypothetically, launch is likely to happen sometime this year. On the price front, the hatchback will be priced more than the regular version but we believe that MSI will tag the hatchback competitively.
Meanwhile, here is some information that is based out of speculation and expert opinions:

Maruti Suzuki Swift Hybrid Range Extender Engine:
Sources close to development have revealed that the Maruti Suzuki Swift Hybrid is likely to get a low displacement, 658cc, three cylinder, petrol engine. The gasoline mill is expected to work in conjunction with a permanent magnet synchronous motor. This engine will work in tandem with a 55kW electric motor mounted on the front-axle. There will be a 5kWh lithium ion battery, which can power the car for a range of 25.5km, and will take around 90 minutes to get fully charged via a 200V socket. The Swift Range Extender might be around 130kg heavier than its conventional petrol-engine that is smashing sales records in India, which weighs around 960-990kg. Maruti claims that the Swift Range Extender offers a combined fuel efficiency of up to 48.2kpl.

Expected Mileage
One of the highlights of the hybrid version of Swift is the expected fuel economy, it is being speculated that Sift Hybrid will be able to run up to 48.2 km per litre. The electric driving range of the vehicle is around 25.5 kms. That’s something that made Maruti Suzuki a desired brand in India.

Expected Price
One of the most vital factors before buying a car is its Price. Maruti Suzuki has always been on the greener side with its pricing. The record-breaking sales are proof enough. The Swift Hybrid is likely to be priced a tad more than the regular version of the hatchback for obvious reasons. Sources have revealed that Maruti Suzuki Swift Hybrid price in India could range between Rs 9 lakh to Rs 12 lakh owing to the high import duty and such factors.

Extender Expected launch date
As far as the launch of this highly anticipated hatchback is concerned, it is believed that there is still time for that. If we go by rumors, it suggests that Maruti Suzuki India  could roll out Swift Hybrid in domestic market between February 2017 to May 2017. It means there are still two years for that and we can expect to see glimpse of the hatchback at the 2016 Auto Expo.


Bottom Line:

With all that’s said and done, there is no confirmation yet on where Maruti stands in terms of its pilot project, or whether the commercial launch is any time soon, the company did showcase the model again on the occasion of World Environment Day (June 5). The carmaker is understood to still be working out the feasibility factor. Since the engine, electric motor and the battery pack are all imported, the pricing is likely to be on the higher side. But, considering the government’s keenness on promoting hybrids, the vehicle might be launched sooner than expected.


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