Maruti/Suzuki R3 Concept gets green light for production

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 9, 2011

The production version of Maruti Suzuki’s R3 Concept may have Australia as one of its future export markets. This vehicle is the first to be designed and developed entirely by Suzuki’s Indian subsidiary. The R3 seven-seater was first shown last January at the 2010 Delhi Motor Show.

This is Maruti Suzuki’s first clean-sheet vehicle. The carmaker has confirmed that this vehicle will be released in early 2012. Sources told GoAuto that the company expects the three-row, five-door MPV to become one of its top-selling domestic models.

It’s likely that it will receive upgrades to enable it to meet international safety and emissions standards about a year after its release in India.

This means that it could be exported to right-hand drive markets such as Australia. Maruti Suzuki’s general manager of global marketing, Rajesh Singh, said however that Australian safety standard is “too high.” Maruti’s first ground-up vehicle would have to use high-strength steel more extensively.

It would also have to be equipped with a lot of safety gear including airbags and electronic stability control and engines that comply with Australia’s current Euro 4 emissions standards.

Singh added that even if the domestic-spec R3 has yet to meet Australian Design Rules, Suzuki HQ in Japan is pressuring it to offer an export version for high-spec markets including Australia.

Singh is not ruling out producing a version of the R3 for export markets such as Australia using the same platform; however, he estimates that a global-spec iteration would raise the pricing of the final product by 25-30%. [via goauto]

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