During the initial debate about the future of diesel engines in the BS6 era starting April 2020, Maruti was the only one to announce plans to stop offering diesel variants altogether. However, the carmaker did mention that it would keep its options open and consider a BS6 compliant diesel engine for its bigger models if there is significant demand. Well, a Maruti Suzuki S-Cross with a 1.6-litre diesel has been spied conducting emission testing, suggesting that a diesel Maruti might well be offered in 2020 as well.
The S-Cross compact SUV was the first premium NEXA offering from Maruti Suzuki and was available with two Fiat-sourced diesel engines – the 1.3-litre seen in various other Maruti models and a 1.6-litre unit as well. The larger engine was only offered with a 6-speed manual and was tuned to produce 120PS and 320Nm. When the S-Cross facelift was introduced, Maruti ditched the larger diesel engine as it made the SUV too pricey for its target customer base.
However, the S-Cross test mule spied here is the latest version and it sports the 1.6 badging. This suggests that Maruti could reintroduce the 1.6-litre diesel engine, updated to be BS6 compliant, and offer it on other Nexa models like the Ciaz and XL6. It also suggests the the in-house developed 1.5-litre diesel engine that debuted on the Ciaz facelift in late 2018 may face the axe before April 2020.
Maruti’s smaller offerings that are currently powered by the 1.3-litre diesel will become petrol-only models as expected. This includes the likes of the Swift, Vitara Brezza, Dzire, Baleno.
The current Maruti Suzuki S-Cross is offered with the 1.3-litre diesel with mild hybrid technology for improved fuel efficiency. It is priced between Rs 8.81 lakh to Rs 11.44 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) and rivals the likes of the Hyundai Creta, Renault Duster, Nissan Kicks and Kia Seltos. Maruti is also expected to introduce a BS6-compliant petrol version of the S-Cross at the 2020 Auto Expo with some cosmetic updates too.
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