The compact SUV segment in the Indian market has heated up like never before. Ford and Renault India are making hay while the sun shines, with Nissan India all primed to try its luck on the segment with its Terrano. Market leader Maruti Suzuki, in the meantime, doesn’t have any other option but to look haplessly as the Ecosport and Duster cut sizeable slices away from both its hatchback and sedan sales.
However, it wouldn’t be long before Maruti comes up with its own answer for the challenge – the XA Alpha. The company officials of late have shown great intent to release their own contender for the segment as soon as possible. The brief for the product team is to beat the schedule and get the production version of the XA Alpha up and running in a jiffy. Maruti Suzuki, by all means has expedited the process of bringing the new SUV to the showrooms. While the initial plan was to bring the XA-Alpha to public roads in 2014, we may now see this Ecosport challenger being launched before Diwali.
XA Alpha is a sub 4 meter compact SUV based on the Swift platform. With Ford’s Ecosport setting new standards for aggressive pricing in the segment, we can easily expect the XA Alpha to be priced between Rs 5 and 6 lakh for the base petrol variant.
Expect the petrol variant to be powered by the same engine that propels the Ertiga MUV. The 1.4 liter petrol engine is good for about 95 PS of power. The diesel variant will be powered by the 1.3 liter DDiS engine. Now whether this engine makes an appearance on the SUV in the 75 or 90 bhp avatar is a question that remains to be answered. Taking in view the price sensitivity of the segment post the Ecosport launch, however, we have a feeling that the 75bhp version of the engine powering the Swift will be used for the Compact SUV as well.
Another SUV which may be launched by Maruti in the later part of 2014 or early 2015 would be based on the IV4 concept teased recently. While not many details are available about the new SUV, the tagline asking you to ‘Grab your Field’ suggests rugged build and good off-road credentials. This SUV will be bigger than the XA-Alpha and will have a more premium positioning in the market.
Rely on us to bring you all the updates on this fresh new SUV when it is revealed at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show on September 10 2013