Suzuki will use New Delhi’s Auto Expo next January to unveil its latest concept, the A-Star. Aimed at key evolving world markets like India, as well as Europe, the five-door A-Star hatchback will major on minimal environmental impact and real-world affordability, wrapped in what we think is some pretty striking sheetmetal.
Details of the A-Star are limited, but we know it will be powered by an all-new Euro 5-compliant 1.0-litre aluminium petrol engine, hooked up to a five-speed manual transmission, that’s said to post an ultra-low CO2 rating of less than 107g/km, combined with exceptional fuel economy. And if the current Swift is anything to go by, the A-Star should be a cracking drive…
Why launch it India?
Suzuki Motor Corporation is a key player in the Indian market – every second car sold on the sub-continent is a Suzuki, and the A-Star will play a key role in further cementing its strong sales foundations, as well as boosting Suzuki’s stock in Europe were the A-Star will also be sold. It will sit beneath the current Swift, so expect prices to start just below the £6000 mark. The production ready A-Star should arrive in time for a Geneva Motor Show debut next spring.
When will it arrive?
SMC has hooked up with local carmaker Maruti Udyog Limited to form Maruti Suzuki India Limited. The deal will see the production version of the A-Star roll of the line at Maruti Suzuki India’s Manesar plant – which will also handle power and drivetrain production – in October 2008. Production should hit 150,000 in the first year, with 100,000 destined for Europe and rest aimed at the Asian subcontinent. And they’re talking big numbers - production capacity is set to expand to 960,000 units by 2010.
What about a diesel?
Although Suzuki Powertrain India also produces a 1.3-litre diesel engine, the new 1.0-litre unit is thought to be environmentally superior to the diesel, but our sources claim that SMC is already working on a new smaller 1.1-litre diesel unit for the European market.