Maruti Suzuki readies Innova Hycross-based MPV for July launch

New MPV, sister to Innova Hycross, will be built at Toyota's Bidadi plant and supplied to Maruti Suzuki, like the Grand Vitara.

By Akbar Merchant, Autocar India calendar 27 Apr 2023 Views icon5670 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Maruti Suzuki has confirmed that it will introduce an all-new premium MPV in the Indian market. This new model will be based on the Toyota Innova Hycross and will go on sale by July 2023. We had reported on this development back in October 2022.

Maruti premium MPV: what will it be like
This new MPV, as reported above, will technically be a sister product to the already popular Innova Hycross and, just like the Grand Vitara, this will also be built at Toyota's Bidadi plant and supplied to Maruti Suzuki.

Last year, in a regulatory filing, Toyota said it was preparing for the launch of a C-MPV in the financial year 2022-2023, which will also be shared with its alliance partner Maruti Suzuki.

At its last earnings call, Maruti Suzuki management confirmed this development. “We will be sourcing a vehicle from Toyota; it's a strong hybrid, three-row, top-of-the-line kind of vehicle in terms of price," Maruti Suzuki Chairman RC Bhargava said. "I don't think the volume will be very large but it's a path-breaking vehicle in a sense because of its carbon-friendly hybrid tech. It will come in roughly two months or so."  

Maruti premium MPV: first rebadged Toyota for Maruti
Since the inception of the Toyota-Suzuki alliance in 2017, Suzuki-built vehicles like the now-discontinued Vitara Brezza and the Baleno were cross-badged and sold as the Toyota Urban Cruiser and the Glanza in India (or the Starlet in South Africa), respectively. At the moment, the latest-gen Baleno, the Ciaz, the Ertiga and even the Celerio are sold as Toyotas in some markets, including South Africa and the Middle East.

On the other hand, this upcoming premium MPV will be the first Toyota product that will be rebadged for Maruti Suzuki in India and sold through the Nexa dealership chain as its flagship model. In Europe, two Toyota models, the RAV-4 and the Corolla Wagon, are sold as Suzuki offerings – the A-Cross and the Swace, respectively.

Maruti premium MPV: what will be different? 
Just like the other cross-badged products from the alliance, we expect Maruti's version of the Innova Hycross to have some distinct styling elements, mainly on the front with a unique grille, and a different bumper and headlamp design are expected. Some more styling tweaks at the back could include a unique tail-lamp design with the Nexa theme that is seen on the Grand Vitara, Baleno and the Fronx currently.

Expect changes on the inside too in terms of interior shades, along with trim differences between both models, similar to the ones seen on the recently launched midsize SUV siblings, the Hyryder and Grand Vitara.

The new Maruti MPV will sit on the Toyota TNGA-C architecture; the naturally aspirated petrol and strong hybrid petrol engines that will be seen on the Innova Hycross will also power the Maruti MPV.

Maruti premium MPV: may not be a volume product
The Innova Hycross is already a popular vehicle and commands a long waiting period. Toyota recently paused bookings for the top trims due to high demand, and, as such, it remains to be seen how many of such vehicles can Toyota supply to Maruti.

“These volumes may not be large... As the vehicle gets into the market, people will start seeing the performance. Today, the same vehicle that Toyota has launched has a waiting of over 12 months. How many vehicles we will get from them, it will also depend on their capacity and also their needs," added Bhargava.

Maruti premium MPV: launch within two months
Maruti recently launched the Fronx at Rs 7.47 lakh, and the next big launch for the brand is the Jimny, which will take place sometime next month. The premium MPV will go on sale by July this year, with deliveries beginning thereafter. All three models will be sold via Nexa outlets.

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