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March that India’s largest carmaker’s sedan — the Ciaz — would be rolled out in August, but now we have got an even firmer timeline of the launch. Bookings for the new car will start by the end of July, the sources added.
Maruti Suzuki had earlier planned to replace the Fiat-sourced 1.3-litre diesel engine in the Ciaz with an in-house Suzuki-developed, more powerful 1.5-litre diesel engine. But the company finally decided to stick with the tried and tested Fiat powertrain.
The petrol variant though is getting a bump up from the existing 1.4-litre petrol to a hybrid 1.5-litre engine. This move comes in the backdrop of a common complaint particularly specific to the Ciaz petrol that the powertrain is underwhelming in an otherwise nice car.
Ciaz’s competitors such as the Hyundai Verna (1.6-litre petrol) and the Honda City (1.5-litre petrol) for instance have had much more powerful engines.
Diesel variants of the rivals too have been more powerful and it does come as bit of a surprise that the company decided against upgrading the oil-burner after initial plans of boosting the engine.
While there will be some cosmetic changes to the front and rear of the new sedan, the interior will get carried over from the previous generation, the sources said.
First launched in 2014, the Ciaz has not seen any major updates, except minor cosmetic tweaks. With Hyundai and Honda both having launched updated versions, the writing was on the wall for Maruti Suzuki. The 2018 version of the Ciaz was widely expected to be unveiled at the Auto Expo in February. But, Maruti Suzuki decided to instead focus on the launch of its popular hatchback Swift at the biennial event.
With Toyota also set to launch the Yaris this week, competition in the sedan segment is only set to get more intense.
As far as the pricing of the new Ciaz is concerned, the company is yet to finalise them, sources said. But it is expected to be higher than the current range. The Ciaz is currently available in the Rs 8-12 lakh bracket.