Suzuki Motor Corporation has unveiled the 2013 Wagon R and Stingray in Japan. One of the top-selling kei (light vehicle) cars in the land of the rising sun, it sticks with same formula of small proportions and small engine that has given it success since its debut in 1993.
Powered by a 660cc engine, the new cars are touted to be 70 kilos lighter. Suzuki has worked on improving the idling and will now introduce a regenerative braking system also. Thanks to these changes the front wheel drive version is expected to return 28 kmpl while the four-wheel drive turbo version (yes there is one in Japan!) is expected to return 24 kmpl. The car is shorter than the 2012 model but the wheelbase remains the same.
On the outside, the 2013 model gets sharper lines. The (projector!) headlights are stretched around the fenders as is the current design fad and the grille now is hexagonal, again following current trends. The interiors have undergone changes which include moving the gear shift to the dashboard to free up more space in front.
The Wagon R is available in two avatars: the ‘fits into a crowd’ stock model and the ‘you will take notice of me’ Stingray version which has a more aggressive grille and sportier alloy wheels. It is popular in urban space-starved Japan where buying and owning even a small vehicle comes at a premium.
The Wagon R that is on sale in India is a different kettle of sushi – it sells for its inexpensive virtues more than its ability to turn heads. We certainly wouldn’t turn our noses up at the prospect of a turbocharged, all-wheel drive little car that can put a smile on our faces while driving – and not just when the service bill comes in.
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