The world premiere of an electric SUV concept that Maruti Suzuki will unveil at the Auto Expo 2023 is expected to be one of the show’s centrepieces. This will be the first sign of the company’s EV ambitions for the Indian market. Within just under four years, Tata Motors was able to secure 84 per cent of India’s rapidly expanding market for electric cars. The largest manufacturer in India has yet to present an electric vehicle to the public and has shown a significant reluctance to do so.
Launch of Maruti’s first electric vehicle in early 2025
The electric car idea created by Maruti Suzuki is especially significant since it will serve as a preview for the first all-electric vehicle produced by the Japanese carmaker. It is projected that this model will debut in January or February of 2025, marking the beginning of the company’s foray into the world of electric vehicles (EVs). This battery-powered vehicle will serve as Maruti Suzuki’s flagship concept for 2023, just like the Futuro-e and Future-S did for the company in 2020 and 2018, respectively.
Maruti is working with Toyota to co-develop the compact SUV known as the YY8, and Toyota will also create its version of this car. The YY8 will be a worldwide product, with around fifty per cent of its output headed for international markets. The Suzuki plant in Gujarat would be responsible for manufacturing the YY8 for sale in both the Indian and overseas markets.
The Maruti YY8 SUV will be almost as big as Hyundai Creta
In true EV form, the YY8 concept is anticipated to feature a radical and futuristic design language that will be radically distinct from the company’s existing lineup of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. The first glimpse of the YY8 concept looks like the Nissan IMX Kuro concept car launched in 2017. It will be over 4,2 metres long, about the length of a Crete, and its wheelbase will be 2,700 mm, making it longer than the MG Motor MG ZS VE.
Based on the 27PL platform, a variant of Toyota’s global 40PL architecture, the YY8 uses its long wheelbase to accommodate a sizeable rear battery and a roomy cabin. As is the norm, the YY8 will feature short overhangs and wheels pushed as close to the edges as feasible to optimise space without the limits of a conventional ICE vehicle.
The Maruti YY8 SUV will have up to 500 km of autonomy
The YY8 SUV is anticipated to be available with two battery options: 48 kWh and 59 kWh. Under regular test conditions, the former should offer approximately 400 km of range, while the latter should deliver about 500 km. BYD, a Chinese battery supplier, would provide Maruti-Suzuki with LFP blade cell batteries. Blade cell technology offers significant weight, packaging, and range advantages. Maruti Suzuki hopes its blade cells will give the YY8 a competitive edge, particularly against Tata Motors’ trendy electric vehicle line, which uses traditional (but inefficient) EV LFP cylindrical cells.
The YY8 will be able to be configured with either two-wheel drive or all-wheel drive; however, it has yet to be known whether the all-wheel drive variant will be marketed on the domestic market. The outputs must be between 138 and 170 horsepower.
Maruti YY8 SUV could cost around Rs 13 lakh
It is believed that the Maruti Suzuki YY8 electric SUV and its Toyota counterpart will make their first appearance on the market in India at the beginning of the year 2025. The company is reportedly aiming for a price of Rs 13 lakh-15 lakh for the vehicle, which would make it an SUV of the same size as an electric MG ZS for the same price as an electric Tata Nexon. Maruti Suzuki may have been slow to enter the electric car market, but if the features of the YY8 and its price are any indicators, this could be the vehicle that unseats Tata Motors as the market leader. However, it will be important to see how it competes with the Tata Curvv concept.
Maruti Suzuki at Auto Expo 2023
Maruti Suzuki is also set to debut the production version of the 5-door Jimny, often known as the Jimny long or the Suzuki YWD. Maruti is also anticipated to exhibit the all-new Baleno-based coupe-SUV and Wagon R flex-fuel prototype, which was recently displayed in Delhi.
Aside from a longer wheelbase, two additional doors, and a larger bodyshell, the 5-door Jimny may not differ aesthetically from its 3-door version. The 5-door Jimny is based on the global version of the Jimny (also known as the Jimny Sierra), which features hefty alloy wheels and fender flares.
The Wagon R flex-fuel prototype can operate on any ethanol-petrol blend between 20% (E20) and 85% (E85). As a point of reference, the latter fuel has 15% gasoline and 85% ethanol. It will be far less expensive than conventional gasoline.