With players like Ford, Renault, Nissan, Mahindra, Volkswagen and their likes aggressively flooding the Indian market with mini SUVs, it was about time that our beloved Maruti Suzuki stepped forward with something equally exciting to offer.

Earlier during the year and then again at the Paris Motor show this week, India’s leading automobile manufacturer Maruti Suzuki unveiled the Maruti S-Cross, based on the new Suzuki SX4 platform which has been available in the international market and is based on the European configuration.

The crossover is undergoing some rigorous testing at various locations in the country in order to prepare it for its 2015 launch deadline. A few of the first mules have been seen tested on the Chandigarh Ambala highway, Jaipur outskirts, Delhi NCR region etc.

Indian crossover in the Europe market

First spotted at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show in March, developed and produced in collaboration with Fiat, the Maruti S-cross being sold in Europe is currently in its third generation and will be spawning out into two separate models with the same nomenclature. India too is going to get the crossover owing to the drastic rise and demand for small SUVs in the country, over the past few years.

Despite being a crossover, the S-cross has a familiar shape and face that the Indian market would connect to, since the SX4 was very popular till it was available in the market and they both pretty much share the same visual cues. The front of the car has a three piece black grille with the Suzuki logo prominently standing in the middle. The headlights are the same as before and are now provided with day time running LEDs. A black plastic cladding runs along the base with a bit peeking from under the nose.

The side profile has been altered with slight changes to the roofline. In the rear, the S cross SX4 retains the profile of the ongoing model, but has sharp features and a completely new set of tail lamps. There is a silver and black cladding that runs the length of the rear bumper. Suzuki has also provided roof rails, but in India, we can expect them to be offered as an extra add on.

Similar to the other offerings in the Maruti stable

The interiors are completely Suzuki and not because of the fact that they follow suit in the design philosophy but because there is absolutely no difference whatsoever when compared to the other vehicles that Suzuki has to offer. The interiors are also very similar to those found on the Swift. Elements like the steering wheel, gauges, gearbox, stalks and buttons are all exactly the same along with the layout of the interior. The only difference is that the four-wheel drive enabled models have a drive selector. The rear seats three people with comfort and folds down if required, to expand the boot space.

The S cross SX4 comes with both diesel and petrol engines. The petrol unit is a 1.6 litre naturally aspirated engine that produces 120 bhp and 156 Nm of torque. The diesel one is a 1.6 litre turbocharged unit that produces 120 bhp and 320 Nm of torque. However, the new crossover would be offered in India with only two engines, a 1.3 diesel and a 1.6, also diesel. Power shall be transmitted to all four wheels through a five speed manual or a CVT transmission unit.

Internationally, the car comes with a six-speed manual transmission. It also comes with an optional four-wheel drive along with four driving modes. Maruti may not offer the extra features on the car but the four wheel drive is all time activated. The S cross will be company’s first crossover in India, and is expected to have an early next year launch, and would come with a price tag between the range of Rs. 8 – 14 lakh, which would put it in neck to neck competition with the XUV 500, Mahindra Scorpio, Renault Duster, and the Ford Ecosport.

Good going expected with more launches

Besides the S cross, the company is also known to plan five more launches in the next coming year although the most projected and prominent one will be that of the SUV. One can look forward to quite a good deal when going in for the S cross although everything else will be determined only once the car is officially launched and hits the stores.