|Maruti Suzuki plans for a CNG variant for Alto K10|
Maruti Suzuki, one of the leaders in the small car segment in India, is planning to develop a CNG variant of its budget small car, the Alto K10. The 1.3 Liter Fiat Multijet turbo diesel engine is the only diesel unit which is offered by Maruti Suzuki, that too only in the B+ segment cars. Others like the Wagon R and the volumes puller Alto K10 still runs only in petrol engines.
Though these small cars offer decent fuel economy, the increase in fuel price has forced people to shift their concentration towards diesel driven cars. Maruti Suzuki seems to have realized the situation well and is planning for a CNG variant for the Alto K10. The Wagon R has got a dual fuel option (petrol and CNG), while the Alto K10 is the only model which depends completely on petrol.
The development of a diesel engine by Maruti Suzuki which surfaced earlier is still in the budding stages. So, for the immediate effect, a CNG option will be the perfect choice. A CNG engine will be of great use as thefuel is cheaper than petrol and gives diesel engine like fuel efficiency. In such case, the CNG and Petrol fuel option will be given to the top model int eh Alto series, Alto K10, which is being powered by the 1 Liter, 3 cylinder K-Series petrol engine.
The incorporation of the CNG-petrol variant will serve more for Maruti Suzuki. The 1 Liter, 3 cylinder K-Series petrol engine is also being used by A-Star, WagonR and Estilo. Once the Alto K10 gets the CNG-petrol engine, the A-Star, WagonR and Estilo will also join the duel fuel lineup. In a situation were the entry level small car is slowing down, developing this dual fuel engine is the most important thing for Maruti Suzuki and so we can expect the CNG model soon.
The Alto K10 CNG variant can be expected to be launched in a few months. The Alto F8D and the SX4 sedan are the models in which the CNG option is currently on offer. Once the CNG option hits the Alto K10, the chance will be wide open for the other hatchbacks to get into the CNG list. In the recent times, many car makers are looking forward to give CNG option in their cars. Tata Nano and Honda City sedan will soon be launched in CNG variants.