'A lot of lightweight high-tensile steel has gone into the S-Cross.'

CV Raman, executive director (R&D and Engineering), Maruti Suzuki India, spoke to Shobha Mathur on the sidelines of the launch of the new S-Cross in New Delhi today.

Shobha Mathur By Shobha Mathur calendar 05 Aug 2015 Views icon14558 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

CV Raman, executive director (R&D and Engineering), Maruti Suzuki India, spoke to Shobha Mathur on the sidelines of the launch of the new S-Cross in New Delhi today.

How long did it the S-Cross development programme take and what are its highlights?
We have been working for 4 years on this product and the total investment is Rs 600 crore along with suppliers. The localisation is 97 percent on the DDiS 200.

The development of both the models has been done at Suzuki’s end but the field testing and evaluation on road and a lot of tuning for Indian road conditions, both on the engine side and suspension side, have been done here.

The development was primarily done in Japan and we helped wherever required. Apart from that, the highlights are that the product is future-ready in many senses. We are creating a new segment with this crossover which has many new features. It is for the first time that we have a dual airbag as well as all-wheel disc brakes. These are features that the customer will like. 

What are the innovations in the S-Cross?
It has new features like infotainment, rain sensing wipers, auto headlamps and voice command. For instance, if it is dark the headlamps will come on automatically.

Are the engines developed in-house?
The diesel 1.6-litre DDiS 320 is an imported engine from Fiat and the DDiS 200 is an in-house motor.

How did you manage to reduce vehicle weight?
A lot of high-tensile steel, which is important in vehicle lightweighting, has been used in the body. The S-Cross has excellent fuel efficiency at 23kpl. Lightweighting is very important for us and the overall platform is lightweight. There is no existing comparison as it is a new platform and lightweighting is at the heart of it.

In terms of fuel efficiency, it is about calibration and keeping the position drag low and keeping the rolling resistance low as well as tuning the engine.

For how many kilometres was the S-Cross tested?
It was tested for more than 400,000 kilometres.

How many suppliers were involved in the vehicle’s development?
Many. I don’t have the exact number but they were associated right from the concept stage. 

Will the S-Cross be exported?
Not at the moment. The focus is on the domestic market.  

The S-Cross uses a regular manual transmission. Any plans to bring the automatic?
The manual 6-speed transmission is used in the 320 DDiS and manual 5-speed in the DDiS 200 S-Cross. Our research shows that the automatic penetration is very low – less than 5 percent of the total demand in vehicles. In this segment too, it is less than 5 percent. We will see in the future if there is any demand.  

What about an AMT option?
In terms of AMT, we are trying to improve our localisation content as also our capacity utilisation. At present, there is a waiting period for the Alto K10 and Celerio. So once we improve our capacities, then maybe we will look at other models.

Honda has recently introduced the CVT in the new Jazz? Would you consider that as an option?
That is two-pedal technology and they must have done their research but we do not see too much of penetration in this segment. There is also a significant difference in cost between the CVT and AMT.


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