Mazda rebadge Suzuki Wagon R for Japan
As a toddler, those wheeled machinery fascinated me even before I knew what they’re called as! So here I’m, petrolhead by birth, Mechanical engineer by qualification and automotive reporter by profession!
The Japanese ‘Kei’ cars look compact and simple but engineering them takes a whole of lot of effort, money and time.
Mazda has found a solution to have a kei car for their home market without breaking into a sweat. They just borrowed the new Wagon R from Suzuki and stuck Mazda badge to it.
The 2013 Suzuki Wagon R was unveiled at Tokyo last month.
The regular Wagon R was accompanied by a sportier version called the Wagon R Stingray. Mazda has adopted both the models and named them as Flair and Flair XT respectively.
The Flair duo have no changes to the exterior when compared to the Wagon R twins, except for the logo and front grill and at 3.39 metre of length and 2.4 metre of wheelbase, the dimensions are identical too. You would have correctly guessed by now that the interiors have nothing new.
The Mazda Flair comes with the same mechanical carriage as the Wagon R. The 660 cc three cylinder motor has both normally aspirated and turbocharged versions. The former makes 52 bhp while the latter pumps out a healthy 64 bhp. The cars are equipped with CVT transmission, a big boon in metro cities like Tokyo where traffic can get out of hand.
The engine has a fuel efficiency of 28.8 kmpl in the normally aspiration avatar and the force fed version is good enough for 25 kmpl.
The rebadging move is mutually beneficial since Mazda gets the all important kei car in their product range while Suzuki benefits from reduced cost due to enhanced scale of production. Mazda sells a rebadged version of the JDM Alto, badged as the Carol.