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New Swift to be a frugal sipper

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Maruti Suzuki Swift, India’s top-selling premium car, has gone under complete transformation. The new Swift, which the country’s biggest car maker — Maruti Suzuki India Ltd — plans to launch next month, is more fuel-efficient. It will come with 1.2-litre petrol and 1.3-litre diesel variants.

The new model, built on a slightly longer yet new platform, will be more roomy, lighter and return better mileage than the current generation Swift. Besides, engineers have also achieved a substantial reduction in the overall weight of the car by replacing the metal fuel tank with a plastic tank. This will improve its fuel efficiency by a little over 13 per cent.

 

This will be the first major face-lift for the Swift since it was launched six years ago. Pricing details of the new car has not been shared by the company.

The new Swift will be produced at the company’s Manesar facility in Haryana, which has recently seen labour unrest. The petrol variant will return a mileage of around 20 km a litre, as compared to 17.9 km per litre certified by the Automotive Research Association of India. Similarly, the diesel model will deliver around 23.8 km per litre, as against the existing 21 km a litre.

For installing the plastic fuel tanks, Maruti Suzuki India has tied up with France’s Plastic Omnium, the world’s largest manufacturer of plastic fuel tanks.

According to an industry expert, plastic fuel tanks are usually 25-35 per cent lighter than the conventional metal tanks. Besides, these are corrosion-free, durable, non-explosive and easily recyclable.

Maruti Suzuki India has entered into a tripartite joint venture with Suzuki Motor Corporation and Plastic Omnium to manufacture fuel tanks at the Manesar facility.

An industry official stated, “With the replacement of the metal fuel tank with the plastic tank, the general idea was to bring down the overall weight of the Swift. The company was working on other areas too where the weight can be reduced. This was achieved through continuous efforts.”

The new plastic tank manufacturing facility, Inergy Automotive Systems Manufacturing India Private Ltd, was inaugurated in Manesar on Monday.

Maruti may also offer a four-speed automatic transmission option in the petrol version, besides the regular five-speed manual.

Preferred for its big car feel, solid build quality, ride and comfort the car been the market leader in the premium hatchback segment in India despite several launches by competition.

The Swift, which is available in petrol, diesel and CNG versions and priced between Rs 3.9-5.5 lakh, sells close to 12,000 units every month. It recorded a growth of 21 per cent last year selling over 140,000 units as against 116,000 units sold in the previous year.

The Swift accounts for about 25 per cent of the hatchback segment, and competes with Hyundai i20, Volkswagen Polo, Skoda Fabia, Nissan Micra, Fiat Punto and Toyota Liva.

Reports suggest that Maruti is preparing to launch a new Swift Dzire, which will be cheaper and will probably hit the market by early 2012.