A Maruti Suzuki SCross test prototype was recently spotted with the 1.6 badge on the rear and DDiS badge on its fenders. The spotted vehicle wore the newer design with vertical slat grille and redesigned headlamps. This SCross facelift launched in October, 2017. And when it did, it appeared to have sealed the fate of the punchy 1.6-litre Fiat-sourced diesel engine. So, this is the first time we’ve seen the older 1.6-litre engine under the hood of the redesigned Maruti S-Cross.
The April 2020 deadline for BS6 emission compliance is just around the corner. This spotting suggests that Maruti Suzuki is considering bringing back the BS6 compliant version of the 1.6-litre diesel engine.
What Will Happen To Maruti’s 1.5-Litre Diesel Engine?
Since Maruti Suzuki has invested a lot of money in developing its own diesel engine, we can’t expect it to just vanish into the dark. The 1.6-litre engine could be a stop-gap solution to gauge the customers’ interest in buying the diesel variants post the BS6 emission rules kick-in. Meanwhile, Maruti Suzuki could focus on making the 1.5-litre diesel engine BS6 compliant. This diesel engine could also do duty in the Vitara Brezza.
Maruti Suzuki officials had earlier confirmed that they’re trying to minimize their reliance on Fiat-sourced engines.Hence, there’s no reason for the 1.6-litre and 1.5-litre diesel engines to co-exist. Although, the 1.5’s performance is not a match for the 1.6’s.
What Will Happen To The 1.25-Litre Diesel Engine?
We believe the 1.25-litre, Fiat-sourced diesel engine will not make it past the BS6 deadline. Making this engine BS6-ready will add substantially to the cost of the vehicle (in percentage terms). W’re anyways seeing buyers moving towards petrol engines in the small car segments.
Why The S-Cross 1.6-Litre Diesel Failed?
Maruti Suzuki was importing the 1.6-litre diesel units instead of making them locally. The heavier import taxes and duties added substantially to the cost of the vehicle. There was a premium of Rs. 3.0 lakh, if you chose the SCross with the bigger engine. Maruti Suzuki later made the 1.6 variants cheaper by about Rs. 2.0 lakh (would it help to explain how, very briefly?).