PREMIER RIO MULTIJET
When?: June/July 2012
How much?: Rs 6 to 7 lakh
Variants: 1.3-litre Multijet diesel, possibly up to three trims
Premier's positioning of the Rio as 'India's first and only compact SUV' has come a little late in the day, considering the potential that the Rio could have offered. That, and the lack of a credible diesel motor has hampered the potential of success for this Pune-based auto manufacturer. But come June (or possibly July), the Rio will get a new lease of life.
We were one of the first to tell you that the Rio would receive a Multijet diesel, going as far back as June 2011 when we made the revelation. That is now indeed true. Premier Auto is now going through the final round of evaluations before the first of the production vehicles roll out. The 1.3-litre Multijet diesel is being sourced from the Fiat-Tata plant at Ranjangaon, Pune. Premier Auto is the only other outside manufacturer, apart from Maruti Suzuki to receive Multijet diesel motors from this very plant.
Read our June 2011 story on the RIO MULTIJET here:
SCOOP! Facelifted Premier Rio coming!
The Multijet diesel equipped Rio should be producing in the region of 75 bhp and 19-odd kgm of peak torque. That is about 10 bhp and four kgm up on the 1.5-litre TUD5, BS-III version of the Rio. The Premier Rio also comes with a 1.2-litre petrol motor, keeping in mind its sub 4-metre dimensions.
Read our review of the RIO PETROL here:
Premier Rio 1.2 Petrol review - Blame it on rio!
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While equipment levels will hardly change, in view of the facelift it received a few months ago, the pricing could very well change. Expect the Rio Multijet to start at Rs 6 lakh for the basic trim level with the fully specced out version nudging Rs 7 lakh. It won't be cheap, mind you, but then there isn't anything else to compete with. At least not in the short run.