The Maruti Suzuki Dzire remains a strong seller despite a strong dip in volumes in the subcompact sedan segment. There’s no doubt that the model is extremely important for India, along with the Swift hatchback, which remains one of Suzuki’s bestsellers globally. The next generation of the Swift and Dzire are currently under development and are expected to arrive by early 2024. And going by a recent report, the Dzire particularly could benefit from a petrol-hybrid engine option. However, today, the Swift has been spied testing and it remains to see whether that gets a strong hybrid or not. Camoflauged units have started doing rounds in India.
Banking on the success of the newly-launched Grand Vitara, Maruti Suzuki is reportedly looking to bring a hybrid engine to its most popular cars and the Dzire could be the first model to benefit from the same. Codenamed YED, the next-generation Dzire will get a newly-developed 1.2-litre petrol engine (codename: Z12E), which will be paired with Toyota’s strong hybrid technology. The report suggests that the engine will be downsized to a three-cylinder unit instead of the four-cylinder seen on the current K12C motor. The hybrid tech will be the same as the one seen on the Grand Vitara and the Toyota UC Hyryder.
Considering the hybrid technology is now being localised in India, it gives the automaker cost efficiencies to plonk the same in a mass-produced engine. Apart from the Dzire, the next-gen Swift will get this engine and could offer a fuel efficiency figure of about 35-40 kmpl. This nearly doubles the efficiency numbers over the outgoing Swift and Dzire which have a fuel economy figure of 22.56 kmpl and 24.1 kmpl (ARAI certified) respectively. Considering the Grand Vitara Hybrid offers 27.97 kmpl, a 35+ kmpl efficiency figure seems doable.
With the absence of diesel engines in Maruti’s line-up, the automaker has been looking at offering alternatives to customers with cars that have lower operating costs. The new line-up of CNG variants is a viable option but introducing hybrids might just be the long-term future for Maruti till electric vehicles arrive in its portfolio in the second half of the decade. Considering Maruti is still not completely sold on electric mobility, it will try and retain tried and tested technologies till it can. Moreover, cars like the Swift and Dzire are more urban-oriented that does make them more efficient in the hybrid guise.
The hybridisation will also help Maruti Suzuki take its fuel economy to the next level and maintaining its legacy of high efficiency cars for every era. However, all of this will come at a significant cost and expect the next generation Swift and Dzire to be substantially more expensive than the hybrid versions. That said, the pure petrol engine is most likely to be sold as well, while the CNG version will remain an option too with the K12C likely to continue being sold.