The entry-level diesel small car from Maruti Suzuki is currently the Ritz. In terms of sales numbers it sells between 2000-2600 units a month a decent figure but nowhere close to segment dominators like the Alto siblings, Swift and the Dzire.
For a company that dominates every other segment in the sub-four meter vehicles, this is not the most ideal scenario and it might change soon. There are rumours that Maruti might introduce a diesel version of their highly successful entry-level tallboy, the Wagon R.
The Wagon R diesel will look very similar to the standard car sans the diesel badges which, in the case of Maruti Suzuki will be the LDi/VDi on the back and the DDiS badges near the indicators on the side. Other than that it will be hard to differentiate the petrol versions from the diesel cars. Maruti Suzuki is likely to facelift the Wagon R by the end of the year and so the diesel version too will have the same design.
Much like the outside, the interiors too will be the same as the standard car with almost no changes. However, if Maruti Suzuki changes the interiors of the petrol car to reflect the design language that it has put to use in the Celerio, then the diesel too will obviously get the same interiors without any changes.
Engine and gearbox
Maruti Suzuki is currently working on a new 800cc diesel engine which is expected to debut with the Celerio but will eventually make its way into the Wagon R. This unit is expected to produce around 70-75bhp and around 150-175Nm of torque. Power will be sent to the front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox. With the weight of Wagon R, it will certain be fuel efficient, returning nothing less than 20kmpl.
Price & competition
The price difference between the petrol and diesel will be a bit high, considering it might be the second car to get this engine. The Wagon R diesel might start at Rs 4.3 lakh, while the top-end version could be around Rs 5.2 lakh. In that price range it will compete with the Chevy Beat diesel.