18 February, 2013 : Ford Ecosport and Renault Duster’s answer from Maruti could be the Maruti XA Alpha that is speculated to grace Indian car bazaar this year. Maruti Suzuki had grabbed the compact SUV market by launching Ertiga but the threat from the market is increasing day by day and it is obvious that Maruti would uncover its trump card in the form of XA Alpha somewhere by the end of this year. Due to the price war on-going in the compact SUV segment, the Maruti SUV will have very competitive price tag as its trade practice seen over the years.
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Maruti XA Alpha that was uncovered at the Delhi Auto Expo this year is projected to be launched by the second quarter of 2013, as per the industry insiders. The compact SUV and MPV segment is starting to get strengthened with the launch of Maruti Ertiga sometime back and recent launch of Renault Duster. There are also speculations that the production version will be ready by amid next year and Maruti might zero upon 2013 Diwali launch. At the time of Maruti XA Alpha launch, the rivals for instance Ford EcoSport and Renault Duster will already be fighting for space and it will be interesting to see how Maruti will thump its inaugural compact SUV.
The launch of Renault Duster has already taken place with flying colors and the striking fact that helped it hold every one’s eyes was its aggressive price statement. Something similar is expected from the largest carmaker too. With Maruti Ertiga launched at INR 5.89 Lakh and Renault Duster at INR 7.19, one can expect Maruti to unleash this modish SUV between INR 7-8 Lakh for the base petrol version while top end diesel will be tagged at INR 8.5-9.5 Lakh.
Since 1981, when Maruti started its operations as Maruti Udyog India limited, it has given some of the best and iconic car offerings to India. Maruti 800 is one that has ruled for almost more than two decades since 1983. Since beginning, Maruti has added some best offering to its portfolio in India. Where there is more emphasis on hatchbacks and later on sedans, Maruti has now also taken care of the SUV and MPV segment in India. The Maruti XA Alpha will be the latest addition to the SUV segment. There are though two SUVs already in place by Maruti viz. Maruti Gypsy and Maruti Grand Vitara, but Maruti XA Alpha will be brought to a segment that will be hot soon.
It is the compact SUV segment that is fast catching up as other foreign and domestic players have pitched in their product line in this segment. This segment has thus far been dominated by Premier Rio and recently by launch Renault Duster. It is expected that with the entry of Maruti XA Alpha this segment will witness real competition as there will be more players entering it then that comprises of Ford EcoSport. The brilliant outer design is really catchy with bold new front grille and sides with pronounced wheel that bestow a stalwart appearance. The rear has L shaped tail lamps near the tail gates, while the bumper has engraved dual exhaust pipes as seen in Maruti Kizashi sedan. As per the anticipations the company will be focusing on the young blood Indians and that is why its styling is shaped accordingly, which provides it the most recent look to Maruti XA Alpha.
Maruti XA Alpha is in the concept phase and there are no details except than some that have emerged. Maruti has called it XA for two reasons. ‘X’ in XA Alpha denotes that it is a crossover and ‘A’ denotes that it will be for those who wish to enter this segment. The ‘Alpha’ nomenclature denotes that it is an SUV that is a perfect example of trendiness and newness for the youth. The Maruti XA Alpha was displayed in red color at the Auto Expo to signify the ferocious nature it has, as well as the power that is within it.
With the SUV segment in the Indian auto industry turning to be a hot spot and Renault Duster proving to be the fortune changer for its manufacturer, Maruti is all ready to take that mercury several notches higher when it introduced the concept car XA Alpha SUV at the 2012 Auto Expo. With the 1.3L diesel and 1.4L petrol engine Maruti XA Alpha will surely blow the competition away which is seen with Renault Duster and Ford Ecosport. The mileage figures are also neck to neck with the competition with XA Alpha laying no two steps behind. The looks can be the driving factor behind Maruti XA Alpha as although it is a compact crossover SUV but the looks are still aggressive and give an intimidating feeling whereas Duster in comparison feels all cutesy and next door car and Ford Ecosport being an SUV with rugged and out rightly looks that feels and falls into a complete off-roader car. So, for a city cum a slight bit of off-roading experiences one might choose XA Alpha moreover this crossover comes from Maruti’s house which is the most trusted brand and has carved a niche in Indian minds like no other brand in competition.
|Maruti XA Alpha Rivals Table|
|Model||Engine||Mileage (City/Highway)||Acceleration (0-100 kph)||Unique features||Price (Ex-Showroom, Delhi)|
|Maruti XA Alpha Petrol||1372 cc||13.5 kmpl/ 16.2 kmpl||13 seconds||compact, feature rich, Maruti assurance||Rs. 7 Lakh|
|Maruti XA Alpha Diesel||1248 cc||17.5 kmpl/ 20.77 kmpl||15 seconds||Rs. 9 Lakh|
|Renault Duster Petrol||1598cc||10.5 kmpl/ 13.24 kmpl||11.5 seconds||modish looks, efficient, compact||Rs 7.99 Lakh|
|Renault Duster Diesel (85 PS)||1461cc||16 kmpl/ 20.46 kmpl||17 seconds||Rs 7.99 Lakh|
|Ford EcoSport Petrol||998 cc||14 kmpl/ 17 kmpl||13-14 seconds||aggressive SUV looks, spacious interiors, stability||Rs 7-8 Lakh|
|Ford EcoSport Diesel||1499cc||16 kmpl/ 21kmpl||15-17 seconds||Rs 8-9 Lakh|
|*** Figures and facts are speculated.|
The Maruti XA Alpha will be basically a crossover SUV hence one can expect a very decent mileage out of it. Here powering the vehicle under the bonnet will be two engines namely 1.4L petrol engine, which is said to be a newly developed K series powertrain and 1.3L tried and tested diesel motor. The new 1.4L petrol engine by Maruti will a much more refined one than the existing K10 and K12 series engine that are doing duties in most of petrol models of Maruti brand. However, the 1.3L Fiat-sourced Multijet diesel motor might also be tweaked for extracting towering mileage in the SUV segment of the country. With the engineering expertise of No.1 carmaker on the fuel economy front, the mileage is bound to beat the competitors like existing Renault Duster and upcoming Ford EcoSport, whereas the likes of Scorpios and Safaris will be left way behind. Both the engines are estimated to boast some amazing mileage figures, keeping in mind its a Maruti product famous for providing optimum mileage.
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