The India-bound Maruti Alto Lapin / Kei might share its engine with the Maruti Alto, paired to a 5-speed manual and an AMT gearbox.
The Maruti Alto Lapin / Kei hatchback could be positioned below other existing entry-level Maruti Suzuki cars.
Maruti Suzuki India that recently launched the Vitara Brezza in the country, is now working on a new small car. The carmaker has patented a sketch of a hatchback, image of which has hit the interweb. This one appears similar to the Suzuki Alto Lapin that is sold as ‘Alto Kei’ in the Japanese market. The new Maruti small car features a retro styling, though the India-bound Maruti Alto Lapin / Kei might get a slightly different design. The company’s in-house design team is working on its exterior styling to make it look more contemporary for the Indian market.
Maruti is planning to introduce 15 new products in the Indian market by 2020, and the Alto Lapin / Kei is likely to be one of them. Other products that the carmaker will bring-in are Ignis, Baleno RS, Wagon R MPV, Swift AMT and Alto 800 Diesel.
The hatchback’s patent doesn’t confirm its launch, as copyrighting products’ names and design is a regular process. Having said that, Maruti is working on a new design and styling of a high-riding small car to rival the Renault Kwid.
Since it usually takes about 2-3 years (minimum) to develop a product after getting done with patent and copyright procedures, expect it to launch by the end of 2017 or early 2018.
If launched, Maruti’s new hatchback could be priced quite aggressively against its rivals like Renault Kwid and Hyundai Eon. The Maruti Alto Lapin / Kei price might fall between Rs. 3 lakh – Rs. 4 lakh.
The JDM-spec Suzuki Alto Lapin / Kei is available with a 660cc, 3-cylinder DOHC engine that is equipped with VVT (variable valve timing) and a CVT (continuously variable transmission) gearbox. This powertrain serves a maximum power of 54bhp and 34Nm of torque. This hatchback is claimed to return a fuel efficiency of 26kmpl and 25.2kmpl with 2WD and 4WD drivetrain system respectively.
For the Indian market, the Maruti Alto Lapin / Kei is likely to be offered with a 0.8-litre F8D petrol engine that also does duty in the Maruti Alto. This engine could be tuned for achieving better fuel efficiency. There might be two transmissions on offer – a 5-speed manual and an AMT, coupled to the 2WD drivetrain. Having said that, Maruti Suzuki hasn’t said anything officially about this product.
Estimated – 22kmpl – 25kmpl
Maruti Alto Lapin / Kei Specifications
Engine – 0.8-litre F8D Petrol
Power – 47bhp
Torque – 69Nm
Transmission – 5-speed manual or AMT