The crossover-style Maruti WagonR we've been seeing on test for a while now is not the rumoured Maruti XL5. A spy video of its interior, uploaded by 91wheels, suggests that it's the production Maruti Future-O EV.
On the outside, the Maruti Futuro-E will be more aggressive with a tougher front fascia and bigger, 15-inch alloy wheels among other changes over the Maruti WagonR. Then, of course, there will be a number of touches that validate its EV credentials, such as a closed-off nose, charging lid, eye-catching lighting and maybe even a funky colour scheme. Simultaneously, a higher ground clearance shall contribute to making it a better everyday road runner.
The spy video also shows the interior of the Maruti Future-O EV for the very first time. Though the dashboard layout has been kept smartly hidden beneath the covers, the centrally-mounted floating infotainment display is clearly visible.
A 'B-D' tag under the gearshift lever is what indicates that we are looking at the pure electric car based on the Maruti WagonR. It also reveals that the EV will have a 'B' mode for enhanced regenerative braking. Generally, this mode is used to deliver a higher range while enabling enhanced regenerative braking efficiency. The regenerative braking charges back the battery from the energy generated during braking, which otherwise goes to waste in regular cars. This mode is especially helpful when rolling down from a flyover or declined road since regenerative braking works more efficiently. This function is carried out automatically in premium EVs such as the MG ZS EV through KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System). The Maruti Futuro-E being a budget product, will do the same manually.
Though the tech-specs are still unconfirmed at the moment, it's reported that the production version of the Maruti Futuro-E concept will be good enough for a full-charge range of 130 km. It will support both AC and DC charging. It is still about a year away away from the public launch. It will be offered to commercial customers such as fleet operators and government bodies first.
The Maruti Futuro-E will be shown in concept form at Auto Expo 2020. In 2021 or 2022, a Toyota EV using the same platform and powertrain as the Maruti Futuro-E will follow.