In a clear instance of extending the brand equity of a phased out model, Maruti Udyog (MUL) is launching the Zen in the incarnation of the Estilo next week.
However, the new Zen will not bear any resemblance to the popular old model and is said to have greater resemblance to the WagonR and Alto.
The Estilo meaning 'style' in Spanish is expected to compete against the Hyundai Santro, Tata Indica and may also eat into the sales of its own model, the Swift, launched in 2005. It is in fact none other the Suzuki's popular hatchback MR Wagon launched in 1999 in Japan and other countries. It would also be one of the first of the five models Maruti promises to launch in India over the next five years.
Maruti wants to position the new Zen as a fashion statement and will launch it at a Tarun Tahiliani fashion show.
Maruti's dealers who received details of the car at a series of zonal conferences with the company said the Zen Estilo has a monoform design, smart interiors and distinctive aerodynamics.
Suzuki MR Wagon was launched in Japan in 1999 and is based on the Alto and Wagon-R platform. The car has been phased out in Japan. Though dealers remained non-committal about its price, Maruti is expected to price the Suzuki MR Wagon between Rs3 and Rs4lakh.
The Zen, launched in 1993 and discontinued early this year, was among MUL's most popular models and almost as ubiquitous as the M800. In all, the company has sold a total of over 760,000 cars of this model in the domestic market and exported 122,000 units.
MUL launched the Zen to cater to a slightly upmarket audience than that of the M800 had and to capitalise on the latter's success. It priced the Zen higher and also gave it a bigger 1000cc, 50bhp engine. In 1998, the diesel version of the Zen was launched, which proved popular. In 2000, the Zen with the MPFI engine was launched that had more power, making it a value-for-money proposition that Indians love.
In 2004 the Zen Classic came in with an ambitious Mercedes look-alike front grill and some other design changes.
|Technical Specifications - Suzuki MR Wagon |
|Power: ||64 bhp@6400 rpm|
|Torque: ||8.56 kgm@3500 rpm|
|Length: ||3401 mm|
|Width: ||1575 mm|
|Height: ||1669 mm|
|Wheelbase: ||2334 mm|
|Fuel tank: ||30 litres|
|Engines size: ||1061cc, 4 cyliners inline|
|BHP: ||60.32 bhp/litre|
|Gearbox type: ||5 speed manual|
|Front suspension: ||McPherson strut|
|Rear suspension: ||three link rigid type|
|Front brakes: ||ventillated discs|
|Rear brakes: ||drums|
|Tyre: ||145/70 R13|