Maruti Suzuki will reveal a coupe concept SUV at the upcoming 2020 Auto Expo. Yes, you heard it right! The Indo-Japanese automaker is departing from its usual design language, of budget cars and compact SUVs, to tread the path which it has never before. But why so? C V Raman, Senior Executive Director, Engineering, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. says that the SUV segment has been on continuous growth in India. There is a lot of upgradation happening from sedans to SUVs and with the Futuro-e, Maruti Suzuki is looking to further motivate the market.
The Futuro-e is essentially a design study for Maruti Suzuki. It has been designed by Maruti Suzuki designers in sync with global design themes seen in Europe and other markets. The Futuro-e is expected to be based on a brand new platform but Raman didn’t confirm the same.
Whenever this model makes it to production it will have an electric heart. Though Maruti hasn’t decided the size and segment for this concept, Raman said it can be tweaked based on customer response and demand while ensuring the design remains proportionate. We expect the Futuro-e to be a compact SUV that can take on the likes of the Tata Nexon EV.
Raman said that customer response is what the automaker is looking for when it showcases the product at the 2020 Auto Expo. If there is a positive response, the design language of the Futuro-e could also form a basis for future Maruti Suzuki cars in India, he added.
Since the Futuro-e is just a design study for the Maruti Suzuki, how and when it will make it to production, hasn’t been decided yet. Since the customers of the carmaker have come to expect a particular set of vehicles from it, launching a product which is distant from the same requires a deep understanding of the buyer preferences, making market feedback crucial. While some might question the move of a radical design change when the existing one is well accepted, the change with electric mobility is set to change the market dynamics as we know it. In addition to customer expectations changing rapidly, new design languages have worked wonders for most carmakers globally. Even homegrown carmaker Tata Motors has benefitted immensely after switching to a new design language and has been able to taste success with its new models. Switching to a new design language hence seems sensible for Maruti Suzuki if they want to stay ahead of the competition and not get into a spot from where they’re forced to play catch up.
Nevertheless, when the Futuro-e does make its way to the production line, it is likely to be positioned as a premium product, making it fit for Nexa. The coupe design language, coupled with an electric drivetrain is likely to tip its prices towards a slightly higher point. More importantly, this will signal a brave departure for Maruti Suzuki from a traditional design approach to a futuristic one, just like the powertrain of the Futuro-e. Hence, the Futuro-e to me is much more than just a design study. It is, in fact, one of the first few steps being taken by India’s largest carmaker to a new form of mobility, thereby bringing new technologies and designs to the masses.
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