A petrol variant of the very popular Maruti Suzuki Vitara has been expected right from the time the car first drove in to the market in 2016. At the time of its Auto Expo debut that year, the management had simply stated that a petrol was in the works. Now over 3 years later while the competition continues to offer both fuel types, the Vitara Brezza has been steamrolling them as diesel only. That is finally set to change. The petrol Vitara Brezza will debut in the last quarter of this fiscal year. Sources have confirmed that the car’s development has been revived and the variant will arrive in Maruti Suzuki Arena showrooms around January 2020 – just ahead of the country’s transition to BS6 emission norms.
The Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza petrol will use the same K12M engine that powers the new Wagon R, Ignis, etc. The 1.2 litre K series old faithful churns out 82 bhp power and 113 Nm of peak torque. But this engine is being reworked to meet BS6 emission standards, and so there could be some slight tweaking of those numbers as a result. Expect the 5-Speed manual and 5-Speed AMT (or AGS in Maruti-speak) to continue doing duty on the petrol Vitara Brezza as well. There is no major mechanical change expected on the car. But there is talk of the car’s mid-cycle facelift also coming in with the BS6 variant. So expect some styling changes on the outside, and some bigger reworking of the cabin palette and materials. The latter is in light of improved cabin benchmarks coming in with the likes of the Hyundai Venue and Mahindra XUV300. The car will also adopt the Smartplay Studio touchscreen and app-based interface with the facelift – as seen on the Baleno and Wagon R as of now.
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This also confirms that the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza petrol being launched will only be BS6 and there will be no BS4 model on offer prior to that arriving. Maruti recently announced that it will be phasing out all current diesel models anyway – citing that moving the smaller displacement engines to BS6 will be too costly and therefore financially impractical for the company. The Vitara Brezza is one of Maruti’s most popular models, selling from 10-13,000 units every month on average. It has been argued that having a petrol variant on offer all this while may have only increased that number. But Maruti has been happy with the car’s outright bestseller status as is, and it would have been difficult for it to spare capacity to manufacture additional units anyway.
But that is all changing. The slowdown in sales off late, and the resultant production cuts – coupled with the uncertainty over the future of diesel, has compelled Maruti to dust off the plans for a petrol Vitara Brezza. The rumour that Maruti always had the petrol variant ready was also false, and the project has only kicked off in earnest at the start of this fiscal year (read April 2019). Maruti has in parallel also begun looking at a 1.5 litre diesel version of the Vitara Brezza that will use its new in-house engine which just debuted on the Ciaz. Whether or not this will be offered at the start is unclear since there appears to be some confusion on whether or not Maruti will completely phase out all diesels altogether, or just the 1.3 litre engines currently powering most of its diesel range. Maruti will also examine the potential of using a petrol hybrid powertrain as a variant for the Vitara Brezza in the future.