The Maruti YBA is expected to launch in early 2016.
Ford didn't just give India a sub-4m compact SUV in the form of the EcoSport, it also helped propagate the idea of such a vehicle. So much so that since then, the market has seen numerous instant crossovers based on hatchbacks, all trying to nibble the market share.
However, some manufacturers decided to work on new products because the segment has a lot of potential. And it's no secret that Maruti Suzuki too is working on such a product. Codenamed YBA, the compact SUV is currently being tested, while a new development hints at the possible use of a larger 1.5-litre diesel engine and an all-wheel drive system in the upcoming vehicle.
According to a report by Autocar India, the Maruti YBA could ditch the current 1.3-litre Fiat-sourced diesel engine for a bigger 1.5-litre version. This, a downsized version of the 1.6-litre JTD engine by Fiat, will be more powerful than the 1.3, and is currently under development. Joining it will be Maruti Suzuki's own K12 and K14 petrol engines.
An AWD system would help Maruti have an edge over the EcoSport which currently doesn't offer AWD in India. Suzuki already has the AllGrip AWD system, which is available in the SX4 S-Cross. And Maruti knows the Indian market well, so don't be surprised if the base YBA undercuts the EcoSport, while the top-end version boasts an all-wheel drive system.
With the premium compact hatchback codenamed YRA, the above mentioned YBA compact SUV, the SX4 S-Cross, and probably a Celerio diesel, MSIL has a lot coming up for the Indian customer. The YBA is likely to launch in early 2016, most likely at the 2016 Auto Expo.
Competitors: Ford EcoSport, Tata Nexon, VW Taigun
Expected Price: INR 5.5-9 lakhs, ex-showroom
Launch Date: Q1 2016
[Source: Autocar India]