Maruti’s first attempt at making a true-blue MPV for India has been spotted, and we are happy to tell you that these are some of the first few photos of the car, caught unmasked. Member Chevelle and his friend Karthik Krishnan of popular automotive forum www.team-bhp.com spotted this vehicle and we have a few details to now share with you.
This particular car was en route Japan for final tweaks to be carried out before limited-scale, and then full-scale, production of the MPV can begin. Interestingly, this model is badged a ZDi, which confirms that Maruti Suzuki will launch it with a diesel motor. The diesel motor is none other than the one found on the SX4 diesel, the 1248cc, DDiS motor with a variable geometry turbo. Expect it to produce 89 bhp and 20.5 kgm of peak torque, just like the SX4, with changes limited for reasons of tuning and efficiency. Other changes may include a different set of gear ratios, with Maruti sticking to the detent-pin gearbox found on the SX4 diesel. A petrol motor can also be expected on the RIII, which may be the 1.2-litre K-Series motor in this case. This particular model may not sell in high numbers, given the current market trend, but should add a sizeable number to the overall volumes of the RIII.
Based on the SX4 platform, which itself is a stretched Ritz/Swift platform, the RIII is a 5+2 seater MPV, with the last row pretty tight on space. Nevertheless, these spy photos reveal that the dashboard is a direct lift from the upcoming Swift, slated for launch in August, with the new Swift Dzire out in October. Except for minor changes, such as adoption of beige in this higher trim ZDi model, the rest of the dashboard more or less remains the same. Expect Maruti to equip it with an electric power steering unit, McPherson strut suspension up front and a twist-beam setup at the rear. Maruti Suzuki isn’t committing a time frame for the launch of the RIII, but we think it will probably be launched at the 2012 Auto Expo, exactly two years after the concept was first revealed at the same show.