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Maruti’s show-stopper could go into production in 2011
The Maruti RIII wowed show-goers at the Auto Expo in January this year and with good reason too. A stylish, funky MUV seating seven, the Maruti promise and the tentative option of diesel power, what more could you ask for.

At the time, Maruti engineers, though extremely proud of the concept, refused to divulge more, but a source close to us indicated that production feasibility studies were already on. It wasn’t just a plastic mock-up for the benefit of show-goers – the RIII was a definite production possibility. At the time, our source had indicated that a running prototype may be ready for the next Auto Expo in 2012, but now we hear the MUV might be in the market before that.
Based on the SX4’s platform, the premise of the RIII is to maximise interior volume from a given wheelbase and it features some intelligent packaging. A flexible interior with fold-flat seats and the option of removing each seat individually are expected to be offered.
The running gear will be based on the SX4 and as such the RIII will be front-driven with the option of manual and automatic gearboxes. A natural gas version will be on offer as well. Interestingly, diesel power could come from Volkswagen with our sources hinting that VW’s 1.6-litre TDi is being considered for the RIII.  
Maruti are looking to price the RIII extremely competitively and will be in the Rs 7-9 lakh bracket. The RIII could also feature safety
kit such as ESP, which would make it exceedingly good value. We understand
Maruti are engineering this car to European safety standards, which means exports are a strong possibility.

 

 

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