Maruti Suzuki has commenced testing 50 prototypes of the Wagon R EV in India ahead of its first electric vehicle launch in 2020
Maruti Suzuki will be launching its first electric vehicle in the Indian market in 2020. It is based on the JDM spec Wagon R that was launched last year at Suzuki’s home. Ahead of the EV, the conventional version of the new generation Wagon R, taking several styling updates from the Japanese model, will go on sale in the coming months.
The largest car manufacturer in the country wants to make a big deal of the industry’s transformation towards zero-emission vehicles in the near future and the electric Wagon R will be part of that strategy. Having debuted at the MOVE Summit in New Delhi in September, Maruti Suzuki confirmed the testing of Wagon R EV prototypes from this month and evidently they are evaluating in the real world conditions courtesy of the spy shots. The electrified Wagon R prototypes are developed by parental company Suzuki’s HQ in Japan and manufactured at Maruti Suzuki’s local facility in Gurugram, Haryana via CKD channel.
We have managed to get hold of some pictures from a field-testing prototype to give you a fair indication of what’s waiting in the pipeline. With different demographics, landscapes and weather conditions prevailing in India, it is important for Maruti Suzuki to evaluate various parameters before making them production ready as the electrification technology is constantly under development.
The JDM-spec Wagon R sits on Heartect architecture, which could be deemed too expensive for the affordable tallboy hatchback. Focussing on the EV test mules, they retain the same exterior as the JDM-spec version but Maruti Suzuki may opt for a different overall look in the production ready model. Suzuki’s partnership with Toyota will come handy taking developments forward. The prototypes are said to be powered by a 72 volt system with 10 to 25 kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
The batteries will be produced in collaboration with Toyota’s Denso and Toshiba as a huge investment has been made into the new Suzuki’s battery plant in Gujarat. The EV prototype spotted has “Electric Vehicle” stickering all around it with blue and black graphics and the headlamps have LED setup.
The tail lights are uniquely placed lower in the bumper area. The interior is unmistakably JDM-spec with a tablet-like touchscreen mounted at the centre and the instrument cluster is stacked right on top of the dashboard. The gear lever is mounted close to the steering wheel that has integrated control and the dashboard gets lavender garnish. The AC vents are wide and horizontally positioned as well. The range and the price bracket of the upcoming EV is yet know. But, we can expect it to offer around 80 to 90 km on a single charge.