Maruti Suzuki will launch the hybrid Ciaz sedan this month that will replace the current model. The new car does not get a full hybrid system, but the milder version called SHVS which will assist the engine and improve efficiency.
The sales of the current model have dropped close to 2,000 units in July, as the company has stopped production of the existing model to make way for the new car. The dealer sources also told us that the current car is available for Rs 25,000 cash discount under stock clearance, since the new car will be available soon.
The dealer sources also hinted that the Ciaz hybrid will use the same 1.3-litre diesel engine clubbed with the Suzuki SHVS (Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki) technology. Unveiled at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, the SHVS is a mild hybrid that does not directly power the engine, but improves the efficiency by taking the load off the powertrain. The car will get a lithium-ion battery which will charge via regenerative braking and provide power for the idle start-stop. It would also reduce the load on the engine by providing the crank a helping hand in developing torque.
We are not sure if the SHVS will also be mated to the petrol car, but this will be one of the first applications of the technology on a production car. The SHVS will easily bump up the fuel efficiency by around 10 to 15 per cent, which would make the Ciaz diesel one of the most efficient cars in India with an ARAI rating of close to 30kmpl.
The updated Ciaz will be more expensive than the current model, but that will be compensated by the higher fuel efficiency that it will offer. The prices of the new car will probably be closer to the Hyundai Verna and Honda City, which cost about Rs 75,000 more for the base variant and around Rs 1.2 lakh for the top-end version.