Mumbai: Maruti Udyog Ltd (MUL) is launching what will be the most powerful sports utility vehicle (SUV) in India - an upgraded Grand Vitara XL-7.
The new Grand Vitara XL-7, which will be bought in as a completely built-up unit from Japan, is equipped with a 2.7-litre V6 engine, which gives an output of 166 bhp making it more powerful than all other SUVs in the Indian market.
The new version is expected to be priced higher by about Rs 50,000 than the older version and will come with some external styling changes as well. MUL recently launched a new-look Zen, which was designed and styled in-house.
The Grand Vitara has not exactly set the Indian SUV market on fire. It is not as popular as Suzuki's small cars in India. Among SUVs it is at the bottom rung in sales along with the Chevrolet Forester.
Since its launch in April this year MUL has sold 150 units of the Vitara while the Forester sold 106 units in the same period. The Honda CR-V has proved to be the most popular SUV in India and sold over 600 units since its launch in July this year while the Hyundai Terracan sold 128 units in the three months since its August launch.
MUL launched the Vitara in April this year on the positioning 'Live the Grand Life' with an innovative direct marketing campaign, whereby it was not placed in showrooms but was sold through doorstep test drive for select customers.
The Grand Vitara XL-7 is the first model launched by Suzuki in India after it has taken management control of MUL.