In what would be a generational change in its engine technology, India's largest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki has decided to introduce the new K-series petrol engine in all its cars in India in the next three to five years, according to the company's annual report for 2007-08.
The new engine is being produced at Manesar in Haryana initially for the global car A Star, which will be launched in the last quarter of this year. It will be manufactured in India and sold in Europe. The engine, apart from being Euro 4- and Euro 5-compliant, is also highly fuel-efficient, though the company is not ready to disclose its mileage.
"The K-series engines are the most advanced in the car manufacturer's stable of engines. They will be fitted in all existing models of cars over the next 3- 5 years," said a company spokesperson. In India, the Bharat 4 norms (which are derived from the Euro 4 norms) of emission are to be implemented by April 2010.
The company executive also said that the engine would have a CO2 emission of 109 gm/km and could be further cut down, while the figures for Europe norms would require 120 gm/km in the years to come. Apart from being the most advanced green car engines in their class, the K-series engines deliver greater fuel-efficiency.
One major catch, however, is that full benefits of this next-generation engine could be realised only when the quality of fuel available in the country is also scaled up and brought to global standards.
Suzuki might have been a little behind its key competitor Hyundai India, which has already introduced Euro 4-compliant
A senior executive of Hyundai says: "We have the Kappa engine for the 1.2 litre i10, Epsilon for the Santro and a range of other petrol engines for bigger cars up to 5 litres. Considering the fact that we already export to Europe in a big way, we have to have Euro 4-compliant engines, which are also being used in Indian cars."
Currently, Maruti Suzuki has five types of engines used in its different models. The F-series engines in the Maruti 800, Omni, Wagon R and Zen Estillo, the G-series (two variants) in the Swift, Dzire, Esteem and Versa, the M-series in the SX4, and the K-series in the soon-to-be-launched A Star.
While the A Star, kitted with the 1-litre K-series engine, will be available only in the petrol version, the Splash (3-litre engine), scheduled to be launched next year, will be available in the petrol and diesel versions. For the A Star, the car manufacturer has announced an export target of 100,000 units and domestic sales of 50,000 units per annum.
Maruti Suzuki's domestic sales for the 2008 fiscal stood at 711,818 cars and it exported about 53,000 units. By 2010, the car manufacturer hopes to sell one million cars domestically, and export about 200,000 cars, annually.