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Tuesday, Feb 05, 2002

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Maruti unveils Versa in super deluxe version

S. Muralidhar


MARUTI Udyog (MUL) has launched a spruced up super deluxe variant of the Versa, the multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) that the company launched late last year. The new Versa SDX is now being readied for an all-India launch.

This is the top-end variant of the Versa and in addition to the twin air- conditioner and flip folding back seat, the SDX is equipped with new features such as bucket seats, which are both reclining and sliding, adjustable tilt steering for comfortable driving, alloy wheels, rear spoiler with stop lamp, silver finish instrument panel, rear wiper and washer and leather steering wheel cover.

The new seating gives the vehicle flexibility in terms of adjustment of the available space either in the middle or in the rear row. It could be slid back to provide more legroom for the middle row or slide forwards to provide more legroom for the rear.

The new Versa SDX also comes with an overhead box to keep small items and a special spectacle-holder for sunglasses. MUL, which is hoping to offer more value for the Versa buyer with the SDX, has priced the new vehicle at 5.8 lakhs ex-showroom in Delhi. The SDX will be available for about Rs 5.9 lakhs in Chennai compared to Rs 5.6 for the existing DX II.

MUL launched the Versa, its luxury MPV, with a view to providing the buyer new characteristics to ensure driving pleasure, easy manoeuvrability, spacious interiors, safety and flexibility. With three rows of seats, twin air conditioner option and flexi-seating for enhanced luggage space, MUL has been projecting the Versa as "two luxury cars in one". The Versa is being endorsed by the father-son duo of Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan.

MPVs are a dominant category in developed markets. Maruti chose Versa so that it could bring to India a category that is popular internationally. The Versa is being offered in three variants, including two deluxe in eight-seater format and a super deluxe (SDX) version in seven-seater format. Since introduction, MUL has sold over 1,200 units of the Versa.

The MPV comes equipped with a four stroke, 16 valve, 1,300 cc MPFI, metatech engine, a dynamic safety surround system, Maruti's true response electronic power steering and a tight turning radius that makes it suited for city driving. Versa also has a cable-operated gearshift, resulting in lower vibration and silent operation.

The Versa has manual transmission (5 forward and 1 reverse, synchromesh gears), booster assisted ventilated disc brakes in the front and drum brakes in the rear. Dimensionally, the Versa is 3,675 mm long, 1,475 mm wide and 1,905 mm in height. The Versa has a maximum power output of 82 bhp @ 6,000 rpm and a maximum torque of 102 Nm (10.4 K gm) @ 3,000 rpm.

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