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    Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza: CarWale Track Day 2021

    Authors Image

    Bilal Ahmed Firfiray

    97,964 Views
    Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza Right Front Three Quarter

    Introduction

    Right Front Three Quarter

    Lap time: 2minutes 15.46 seconds

    Power and weight: 103bhp and 138Nm, 1,130kg (kerb)

    Tyres: Front: 215/60 R16, Rear: 215/60 R16

    Introduction

    There’s no denying the fact that the Vitara Brezza is the most popular SUV in the country and fares by a huge margin. It ticks so many boxes that buyers are willing to put down their money with no second thought. And This, despite the lack of diesel engine options since the BS6 transition. We have had the oil-burner Brezza in one of our previous CarWale Trackday outings and came back mighty impressed. So, it was a no brainer getting the petrol-powered Brezza to our newest installation of Trackday where we have some fun with every day, road-going, commuter-centric, public-preferred heroes.

    Race Track Introduction

    Track Pad

    The Madras Motor Race Track in Chennai is a great place to push the handling envelope of cars. It’s not a track that favours horsepower; instead, a car with great chassis balance is what really shines around this bumpy 3.7-kilometre flowing circuit. Speaking of which, right after the short start-finish, straight is the fast and bumpy C1. One must then scrub off a lot of speed for the right-hander C2. The C7, as we found out, is the most difficult corner to master as it’s a long right-hander that is ever-tightening and has a double apex. Getting a great exit out of C7 is important because it leads onto the second of the two really quick sections of the MMRT.

    Track Experience

    Right Front Three Quarter
    Lap TimeC5 Apex SpeedC7 Apex SpeedC10 Apex SpeedTop Speed
    2m15.46s81.13kmph 91.79kmph 58.03kmph 137.28kmph

    One thing became certain after driving the Vitara Brezza around a race track – there’s nothing like a good-old, four-cylinder, naturally-aspirated motor. The 1.5-litre K15 engine just revs progressively and happily. It makes you appreciate the simplicity of the motor, especially in the newfound turbocharged era. On the track, the Vitara Brezza picks up speed almost linearly and the motor continues to gather revs until you arrive at a corner. The light and easy controls also make the Brezza fun to throw around. Just bear in mind, it needs to be kept wrung at higher revs to extract the most of this naturally-aspirated Japanese.

    With higher ground clearance by the virtue of its SUV stance and suspension that’s sprung to offer comfort when roads start to deter, there’s loads of body roll when pushed hard into a corner. On the other hand, the Brezza maintained a strong composure on the straight-line stability. Chuck it around the corner and the light and direct steering proved to be quite manageable. Even a rookie like me could hold the line easily. Carrying triple-digit speeds after exiting C3, braking hard before the left-hander C4, and quick direction changes on to the C5, the Vitara Brezza managed to carry an impressive speed of 81.13kmph on full tilt. The same was seen on the parabola of the C7 where I feared the body roll would hamper the Vitara Brezza’s time. But I was lessoned when it hit the C7 apex carrying a speed of 91.79kmph, only a fraction of seconds slower than the other two sedans we had this year.

    Left Front Three Quarter

    Lastly, the trickiest corner which I haven’t vanquished yet – the C10 – did not prove a threat to the Vitara Brezza, it seems. When I first drove the Brezza through C10, the ever-tightening left-hander made the high-girth SUV expose its kink. But in successive laps, the prominent body roll I encountered in my first outing was easily undertaken smoothly, thanks to the light and direct steering and allowing the right amount of power to tarmac through the front wheels. Later, in the hands of Sagar, on a fast lap, the Vitara Brezza measured a cornering speed of 58.03kmph on this corner – which is more than 1kmph quicker than the i20. Thus, the Vitara Brezza takes a bow with a reasonably quick lap time of 2 minutes 15.46 seconds.

    Another impressive thing about the Vitara Brezza was its brakes. Although it’s not a heavy car, the braking just before the C4 or the C8 was quite confidence-inspiring. In each subsequent run, I was able to brake slightly later and was confident to carry more speed. Also, after a few good laps, there was no sign of fading in those brakes despite the scorching Chennai heat.

    Left Side View

    Where the Vitara Brezza shone on the track is its flickable nature combined with sweet revving motor. Take the chicane after the C3 for instance. Exit the tight C3, upshift a gear, and gas it while kissing the curbs as the motor sings till the kingdom comes – or, as in here, the C4 comes. It’s even fun around the C7 in the continuous parabola. Here the high riding stance adds fun to the long stretching right-hander and immediately changing direction before the back straight is just plain excitement. Once again, the C10 is a bit tricky to master, but if it’s taken properly, the big grin across the face is indescribable.

    In the same league as the Vitara Brezza, we had the Tata Nexon at the track as well. In comparison, the Nexon has a turbo-petrol motor yet the free-revving nature of the Brezza’s four-cylinder made it quicker around the straights – and to an extent through the corners. On the other hand, the Nexon triumphed in the amount of grip it had through any corner. It was difficult to unsettle the Nexon – partly because it takes time to put down its higher output of 118bhp on the track and partly due to its surprising levels of grip that are equally – but a different type of – fun.

    Conclusion

    Dashboard

    It won’t seem like when driven in bumper-to-bumper traffic – where all the Vitara Brezzas ever sold will spend most of their lives – but the Maruti Suzuki’s sub-four metre SUV offering is too much fun on a race track. What’s more, it’s also quite capable in the right set of hands, as it managed to post a five-second quicker lap time over Nexon’s, despite the Tata being more powerful on paper. Its NA motor is a gem being fun and usable at the same time. Besides, the motor’s weak bottom end grunt is the only thing that prevented the Brezza from setting an even quicker lap time. Owing to this, there’s a constant need for downshifting into a lower gear to keep the motor churning at the right rpm. Otherwise, the light controls, direct steering, good brakes, and startlingly good chassis balance makes it a real ‘everyday hero’, which can lend its buyers equal levels of fun during its mundane travels.

    Pictures by Kapil Angane and Kaustubh Gandhi

    Click here to read our introduction story for CarWale Track Day 2021

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