Rumor: Maruti Suzuki could launch the facelifted Ritz hatchback with an automatic gearbox
Maruti Suzuki has already begun exporting the Ritz hatchback to European countries where the small car is sold under the Splash moniker. The tall boy design of the Ritz means that ingress and egress is a breezy affair, making the car highly suitable for senior citizens. The facelifted Ritz has been lined up for an Indian launch later this year. Along with launching the facelifted version of the Ritz in India, Maruti could also offer this hatchback with an automatic gearbox. Currently, the Ritz sold in India comes with a five speed manual gearbox and two engine options.
The petrol motor is a 1.2 Liter K-Series engine good for 80 Bhp while the turbodiesel engine is the 1.3 Liter Fiat Multijet unit outputting 75 Bhp-190 Nm. Both the engines are highly refined and fuel efficient units although the lion’s share of sales comes from the diesel engined Ritz as diesel is much cheaper than petrol in India. The automatic version of the facelifted Ritz though, is expected to be available only on the petrol variant of the Ritz. This, as adding the automatic gearbox to the diesel version of the Ritz could sharply increase its price to entry level C-segment levels.
So, expect the mid level VXi trim to get the 4 speed automatic gearbox, as has been the case with other Maruti car models like the A-Star, Dzire and the SX4. Along with the automatic gearbox, the VXi version of the Ritz could also feature ABS as standard. The diesel variant of the facelifted Ritz could also be offered in an additional top end variant, in the form of the ZDi trim, which will mean that the top end diesel model gets both airbags as well as ABS. All in all, the Ritz petrol is expected to be offered in LXi, VXi, VXi Automatic and ZXi trims, while the diesel model could get LDi, VDi and ZDi variants.
Currently, Maruti offers automatic gearbox versions of three of its cars, and the Ritz Automatic could be the fourth car in the country’s largest car maker. The addition of the automatic variant of the Ritz will widen the choice offered to the Indian car buyer, as the Ritz Automatic will be the second such car in the B+ Segment hatchback space, after the Hyundai i20. The A-Star competes with the Hyundai i10, and these cars sit a notch lower than the likes of the Ritz and the i20.