Earlier this year, Suzuki confirmed that it will sell Toyota’s Corolla in India through its local subsidiary Maruti Suzuki. According to a new report from GaadiWaadi, Maruti Suzuki has started internal prototype testing of this C-segment sedan.
Maruti Suzuki is testing its version of the Toyota Corolla at the R&D centre in Rohtak, Haryana. The company is re-engineering the eleventh generation model that is already on sale in India, not the TNGA-based twelfth generation model that was introduced internationally last month.
The Maruti Suzuki-badged Toyota Corolla may feature uniquely designed bumpers, grille and alloy wheels to differentiate itself sufficiently. The interior may remain mostly as is, although Maruti Suzuki may change the car’s infotainment system and upholstery and source more components from local suppliers.
The Toyota Corolla, a CKD product from Thailand, is available with the 2ZR-FE 1.8-litre petrol engine and the 1ND-TV 1.4-litre diesel engine. Maruti Suzuki will likely employ a more powerful version of the K15B 1.5-litre petrol engine of the Maruti Ciaz and offer even the E15A 1.5-litre diesel engine that is currently under development. This will allow it to bring the prices to a more attractive level. Also, its diesel engine should deliver higher power and torque than the 1ND-TV 1.4-litre unit (88 PS/205 Nm) and could make use of the SHVS mild-hybrid tech.
Maruti Suzuki plans to sell 10,000 units of the rebadged Toyota Corolla a year. That’s not a big volume for India’s best-selling brand but if it succeeds, then that changes the thinking in the company. So far the company has had little success with products above C-segment before (Suzuki Vitara, XL7 and Suzuki Kizashi). It will launch the C-segment sedan as its flagship 4-door model during the festive season of 2019.