Maruti Suzuki had unveiled the third generation SX4 S-Cross at the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo, which will be launched here early next year. While earlier speculations suggested that the crossover will be getting a new 1.6-litre version of Fiat’s MultiJet engine, latest reports indicate that Maruti Suzuki will be opting for a Peugeot 1.6-litre unit.
The engine in question is a Peugeot DV6 1.6 Litre CRDI unit, which has been jointly developed by Ford and PSA Peugeot Citroen. Different iterations of this engine have been used in several Ford, Citroen and Peugeot cars over the years. The engine is available in different guises, with power figures ranging from 89bhp and 230Nm of torque to 112bhp and 270Nm of torque, the latter one also being used in the Mini Countryman.
Back in 2009, Suzuki’s decision to go for Fiat 1.6-litre engine for the SX4 crossover, despite having an alliance with Volkswagen, had led to a bitter dispute between the two car makers, eventually leading to termination of the agreement. So it seems very unlikely that Suzuki will turn its back on Fiat, from whom it has always sourced the diesel engines for its cars. With the Government of India providing excise benefits for sub-1.5-litre diesel engines, it will be more feasible for Fiat to modify the 1.6-litre MultiJet unit it already has to be used in the SX4 S-Cross. With Fiat also supplying engines for Tata and its own Indian operations, the downsized 1.5-litre engine will have a lot of scope for other cars in the Indian market itself.
Peugeot has been long known as a diesel engine specialist and makes one of the fastest diesel vehicles which compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race. If Maruti Suzuki does decide to go with the 1.6-litre DV6 engine for the SX4 S-Cross, we can be reasonably certain that they will also find their Ford equivalents making an appearance in India. Both BMW and Ford stand to benefit from this deal as once Maruti Suzuki enters the equation, maintenance and acquiring parts for the engine will get a lot easier. Ford does use a downsized 1.5-litre version of the Peugeot engine in the B-Max sold in the US market, which can be adopted for the SX4 S-Cross.