I V Rao, Managing Executive Officer — Engineering, Maruti Suzuki
I V Rao, the Managing Executive Officer in an exclusive interview
Tell us about the development process of the K12M engine?
The development work for this engine was done in India, Japan and even Germany. While vendor development for the engine parts was done by Maruti engineers, the engine calibration work was done by the Engine Management System supplier and ourselves with support from Suzuki Motor Corporation in Japan. The entire durability analysis and development work for the engine was also done by our engineers, keeping in mind the tough Indian operating conditions. We had 12 engineers from Maruti working on the design, development and testing process for the K12M and are confident that it will offer class-leading levels of performance.
What were the challenges faced while downsizing the engine from 1248cc to 1197cc?
We reduced the size of the engine in order to avail of the benefit of lower excise duty. To do so, the engine was redesigned and modifications were made to components like the crankshaft in order to reduce the swept volume of the engine. This was challenging to the extent that we had not done this before. The calibration work on the K12M was done separately to adjust for the change in swept volume. The compression ratio was changed along with optimisation of the piston design to ensure that performance did not drop inspite of the downsizing. As a result, the K12M delivers similar performance to its bigger sibling, the K12B engine.
What is the level of localization in this new engine?
The localisation level of the K12M is more than 90 per cent with critical parts like the cylinder block, head, crankshaft and camshaft being machined in-house. In addition, the cylinder block and head castings are also made in a modern aluminium foundry that was set up by us at the new Gurgaon engine plant.
Who are the major suppliers to this engine?
They include companies like Rico Auto, Bharat Forge, Sriram Pistons and Rings, Rane Engine Valves, Borg Warner, Amtek Auto, Futaba Maruti India, Precision Camshafts, Denso, UCAL Fuel Systems, Mag Filter and NGK Spark Plugs.
What are the plastic parts used in the new engine?
The engine uses a plastic intake manifold, which helps in reducing the suction air flow resistance which results in better engine performance. Also, it helps reduce the weight of the engine, which in turn improves fuel efficiency.
What is the additional cost for meeting BS4 emission norms?
The cost of meeting these norms depends on the current technology level of the engine. Older engines need bigger modifications and costlier aftertreatment devices to meet the regulation. However, modern high efficiency engines that were conceived for lower emissions can meet the BS4 regulations at lower incremental costs.
Will this new engine be exported from India?
There are no plans as of now to export this engine from India.
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