Maruti Suzuki India, the passenger vehicle market leader, today launched its newest model – the S-Presso 'mini-SUV' – which is aimed at revving up the company’s sales in the entry level hatchback market. The company says the new S-Presso, priced from Rs 369,00o to Rs 491,000, essentially an SUV-inspired hatchback, has been conceptualised and designed in India.
The company wanted to create an SUV-like offering for the entry level buyer, and that was the idea that led to the birth of the S-Presso, said Shashank Srivastava, executive director, Sales and Marketing, Maruti Suzuki India, at the product launch in New Delhi today.
The company calls the S-Presso as a 'Genki' car, which means energetic, fun and peppy. The S-Presso is to be launched in multiple markets across South America, Africa and Asia. Cape Town, Colombo, Panama and Manila to see the 'Genki' car getting introduced as an entry-level compact hatchback.
The S-Presso is based on Suzuki's 'Heartect K' platform modified for high GC and using 40% high-tensile steel. The Suzuki Heartect platform also underpins models like the Swift, Dzire and Wagon R. The platform not only brings structural rigidity benefits that will help it meet the new crash test norms, but it also helps make the car light – the S-Presso weighs just 726-767kg, depending on the variant.
As for the dimensions, it measures 3,565mm in length, 1,520mm in width and 1,564mm in height (the Std and LXi variants are 15mm shorter due to the 13-inch wheels) with a 2,380mm long wheelbase. The ground clearance is set at 180mm, which is on par with the Kwid, but it gets larger 165/70 R14 tyres in comparison on the higher-spec variants.
The S-Presso is powered by Maruti Suzuki’s BS VI-compliant 1.0-litre K10B petrol engine that develops 68hp and 90Nm of torque. Gearbox options include a five-speed manual or AMT.
Speaking at the product launch in New Delhi today, Kenichi Ayukawa, managing director and CEO, Maruti Suzuki India, said, “At Maruti Suzuki, we believe in the philosophy of ‘customer first.’ We continue our endeavour to provide Indian customers with high-quality cars backed by affordable pricing. Today’s global launch of the S-Presso stands testament to our commitment to offer best in design, technology and safety to our customers. The S-Presso joins our BS VI range as the eighth vehicle compliant with new emission norms. We are confident that the S-Presso will bring excitement in its segment, attracting the ever-evolving young customer.”
HOW THE NEW MARUTI S-PRESSO STACKS UP PRICE-WISE
Inside, the S-Presso’s dashboard design doesn’t stray too far from the one seen on the Future S concept. It gets an all-black theme with colour-coded orange bits on the top-spec trim. The dashboard is upright and features a centrally-mounted digital speedometer and tachometer, which is reminiscent of the Mini’s. The touchscreen infotainment system is positioned right below it. The central AC vents are positioned on either side of the instrument cluster.
In terms of equipment, ABS, a driver-side airbag, rear parking sensors, seat-belt reminders, a digital speedometer and a speed alert system are standard across the range. The Option Pack, which is available on all variants except the top-spec, adds a passenger side airbag. Additionally, top-spec S-Presos get a manual air conditioner, Maruti’s 7.0-inch SmartPlay Studio touchscreen infotainment system with voice recognition, steering-mounted controls, rear parcel tray, body-coloured ORVMs and door handles, and a 12V accessory socket. There are no alloy wheels on any variant, though Maruti does have an extensive list of accessories that can be added to the model, for a bit more cash.
One-litre BS VI petrol engine
Powering the S-presso is Maruti’s BS VI-compliant 1.0-litre K10B petrol engine that puts out 68hp and 90Nm of torque. This upgraded engine is also expected to find its way in the Wagon R, Alto K10 and Celerio in the coming months. Gearbox options for the S-Presso include a 5-speed manual or AMT.
Interestingly, the lower variants have an ARAI-certified mileage figure of 21.4kpl while the higher VXi and VXi+ variants (in manual and AMT form) are rated at 21.7kpl. When compared to the BS4-compliant version of the same K10B motor, specifically in the Alto K10 and Celerio, the BS6-spec version (in the higher variants) delivers 2.25kpl and 1.4kpl less, respectively.
Maruti Suzuki will retail the S-Presso from its Arena chain of dealerships. The brand has invested Rs 640 crore in the development of the new hatchback and has claimed that it has achieved 98 percent localisation of parts and components. In terms of rivals, the S-Presso is aimed squarely at the Renault Kwid which is currently priced from Rs 2.76 lakh to Rs 4.75 lakh. The Kwid too will receive a facelift this month which should make the battle of the newly-formed micro SUV segment really interesting. Another alternative in this price bracket includes the Datsun Redigo 1.0 (Rs 3.90-4.37 lakh).
The carmaker, whose PV market share has dipped below the 50 percent mark after a very long time, will be looking to the S-Presso to inject some freshness into its hatchback portfolio. For the April-August 2019 period, the company’s hatchback portfolio’s sales at 557,048 units are down by a sizeable 28.8 percent.
Maruti Suzuki India chief Kenichi Ayukawa said he expects the S-Presso to re-energise the industry to its growth path this festive season. It's over to the customer in the passenger vehicle market now.