Premier continues intensive testing of the Rio Multijet

11/07/2012 - 12:35 | ,  ,   | Shrawan Raja

Our friends at Motorbash had a brief encounter with one of the 1.3L diesel Rio test mules in Pune. The Rio is currently sold with an ancient 1.5L diesel engine that used to persuade forward cars such as the Maruti Zen in the 1990's.

Premier Rio 1.3 Multijet test mulePremier Rio 1.3 Multijet on test

A 1.2L petrol engine came to the Rio's rescue this year to facilitate a more comfortable driving experience, but the rising petrol prices shining down on India meant it was not very helpful in finding new customers.

Earlier this year, Fiat and Premier signed an agreement where the former will supply the 1.3L diesel engine for application on the Premier Rio. This would naturally make the Rio compliant with BS4 emission norms as well as provide the best fuel efficiency among all variants.

We expect the new Rio to come with 75PS and at least 170+ Nm of torque. One would have hoped for the Rio Multijet to arrive last year when it had zero competition. The Renault Duster, Ford EcoSport and the slew of mini SUV models waiting backstage are certainly going to make the Rio huff and puff right from the start. On pricing, Premier has to go as low as it can to give the Rio a chance of surviving in a pond that is populated with deadly predators.

The Rio Multijet will be launched before the festival season using the chassis and interior of the Rio+, a facelift that was brought to the Auto Expo with reworked front and rear fascias, and beige interior.

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