For the first time in 16 years, Suzuki Motor Corp. will be building an all-new minicar engine, according to a report from Japan’s Nikkei business daily earlier this week. The small-car specialist will reportedly produce a 0.66-liter engine that offers a fuel economy rating of 27 kilometers per liter, or 64 mpg, when combined with idle-stop technology.
The publication said that this represents a 20% improvement compared to Suzuki’s current engines.
Coming up with a more efficient small-displacement engine may have spillover effects for Suzuki’s projects to develop inexpensive cars for emerging markets and global small cars.
Suzuki faces competition from new rivals in India as well as from other carmakers at its domestic market in the minicar segment, which makes up almost 40% of Japanese passenger car sales.
Last year, Toyota said that it will launch its own minicars in Japan for the first time. Suzuki is prepared to spend 20 billion yen, or about $242.7 million, over three years to retool its Sagara factory to produce the new engine.
The report revealed further that the engine will debut in Suzuki’s MR Wagon and that it will later become the standard engine in all of Suzuki’s minicars. [via autonews - sub. required]