The first product unveiling on the launch-laden January 5 was Maruti Suzuki India which took the covers off its Concept XA Alpha compact SUV, painted in ‘lava red’. The car is positioned as an off-roader, the ‘X’ denoting the crossover category and ‘A’ as a first step for customers wishing to enter the UV segment. The Concept XA Alpha has been designed by Indian and Japanese engineers together and draws inspiration from Indian martial arts.
The Concept XA Alpha is built on the new Swift platform and has a length of 4000mm, 1900mm width, 1600mm height, 2500mm wheelbase and can seat five. The four-metre length makes the XA Alpha eligible for a lower rate of excise duty for small cars.
Viewed in profile, the XA looks every bit the compact SUV it is with really short front and rear overhangs. Accentuating this look are the concept’s massive 255/50-R19 rims, though it is unlikely these will make it to the production model. Oversized wheel arches and a thick C-pillar are other interesting details on the concept. Rear-end styling features smart L-shaped tail-lights that hold the small rear windscreen. Detailing is similar to the front as is visible on the trapezoidal theme of the rear bumper. A stop lamp that sprouts from the centre of the roof and short roof rails complete the look.
Maruti will offer the production XA Alpha with its range of K-Series petrol engines and 1.3-litre DDiS diesel engine. Interestingly, Maruti has confirmed there will be a four-wheel-drive version of the XA Alpha as well.
According to Maruti Suzuki India chief Shinzo Nakanishi, “India is set to become one of the top automobile markets of the world. The concept is designed for a market of customers with a young urban lifestyle and it showcases the unified R&D efforts of Maruti and Suzuki which will be a big asset for us in India in the future.”