Maruti Suzuki is gearing up to launch the latest small car from its stable. Due to be unveiled next month, the Celerio will replace the A-Star globally. However, in India, it is expected to sell alongside the A-Star and the Estilo for now.
The Celerio is likely to take on B-segment peers such as the Hyundai Grand and i10 and the Nissan Micra. It will also seek to woo customers looking for a small car with an affordable automatic transmission.
The Celerio is unmistakably Maruti. Featuring a tall-boy design and a short bonnet, the car speaks Maruti’s new-age design language.
It has been built on a completely new platform and will only be offered with a petrol engine — the K10B engine (currently in the Alto K10, Wagon-R and A-Star). A diesel version is not expected anytime soon.
With large headlamps on either side of a two-slat grille and the Suzuki logo prominently displayed at the centre, the Celerio has a good road presence. The rear design is simpler but contemporary while the cabin and dashboard layout focuses on providing a modern, upmarket feel.
The story of a Maruti hatchback always revolves around the mileage it can deliver. So, Maruti’s engineers have tried to ensure that both the automatic version and the 5-speed manual transmission variant deliver a high 23.1 kmpl.
This has been achieved by keeping the weight low – the heaviest variant is just 830 kg. The car’s aerodynamism has been optimised. Also, the engine has been tuned to reduce frictional losses. Low rolling resistance tyres enhance the fuel efficiency further.
As with the A-Star and Wagon-R, the Celerio, too, will have a 998cc, 3-cylinder K10B engine, producing 68 PS of peak power at 6,000 rpm, and peak torque of 90 Nm at 3,500 rpm.
Maruti is hoping that the Celerio’s auto-shift gearbox will revolutionise the market for automatics. Given the price sensitivity in the automatic hatchback segment, the carmaker is likely to start from a sub-Rs 3 lakh price and go all the way to Rs 5 lakh plus.