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Maruti Suzuki Wagon R Flex-fuel Review

The Maruti Suzuki Wagon R (or WagonR) is a city car manufactured and marketed by Suzuki through its subsidiary Maruti Suzuki primarily for the Indian market since 1999. The Wagon R was launched in India on 18 December 1999, and has since undergone several upgrades. The second-generation Wagon R model and styling was also shared with the Karimun Wagon R for the Indonesian market and the Wagon R for the Pakistani market, despite several differences.

Maruti Suzuki Wagon R Flex-fuel Review

What is it?

According to current plans, the Maruti Suzuki Waggon R Flex-fuel (FF) will be India's first mass-segment flex-fuel vehicle. It's one of the solutions to the never-ending search for alternative fuels for automobiles. The Waggon R FF is designed to run on any ethanol-petrol blend, decreasing exhaust emissions in the long run. It also goes without saying that it will comply with the next, stricter BS6 phase-II emission requirements. Except for the neon badging, the prototype on exhibit at Maruti's stand at the 2023 Auto Expo resembled the regular Waggon R sold in India. We suspect the 'Flex-Fuel' branding on the side will be toned down in the production avatar. However, the brilliant green ornaments may be kept representing its green, environmentally friendly persona.

How is it on the inside?

Maruti Suzuki changed the cloth upholstery colour choice on the regular Waggon R to a beige and dark grey melange. The Waggon R FF's fundamental layout and upholstery remain mostly intact. However, to keep with the motif, the same fluorescent embellishments may be found on the inside as well. It is not clear if the instrument cluster or screen had changed. However, based on the photographs, there is no visible alteration in the car's cabin, and thus the quality of materials or space stays identical.

What kind of features will it get?

Because the Waggon R FF is based on the standard model, it will receive all of the features from the enhanced Wagon R. Last year, the hatchback received an update that included technologies like as a seven-inch SmartPlay Studio with smartphone navigation, four speakers, and cloud-based services. Then there's the ISS (idle stop-start system) and hill-hold assistance system in automatic or AGS vehicles. All of this is in addition to the standard features such as steering-mounted controls, air conditioning, keyless entry, all four power windows, electrically adjustable ORVMs, and so on.

The Waggon R FF, like the normal hatchback, is well-equipped in terms of driver aid and safety systems. It boasts dual airbags, rear parking sensors, a seat belt reminder, a high-speed alert system, and ABS with EBD. Hill-hold assist will be available on automatic (AGS) variants if available.

What is It Powered By?

The 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine delivers 88.5bhp and 113 Nm of peak torque in the Waggon R FF prototype. This engine is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, with no information on an automatic gearbox. The most essential feature of this engine is that it can run on any ethanol-petrol combination ranging from 20% (E20) to 85% (E85). This fuel is actually a mixture of 15% gasoline and 85% ethanol. It will not only be much cheaper than ordinary fuel, but it will also be 79% greener. The Waggon R FF will also give the same power output as a standard gasoline Waggon R model.

The aforementioned advantages are the result of changes implemented by several teams in India and Japan. The changes are mostly to handle the blended gasoline, which will eventually help the car run more efficiently. Then there's the technology that includes ethanol sensors to calculate the entire percentage. It also includes heated fuel rails to help with cold starts. Furthermore, the Waggon R FF has an updated engine management system to boost engine endurance. It also has stronger petrol pumps, injectors, and other mechanical components.

What about its Price, Competition, and Launch?

Maruti Suzuki intends to implement ethanol compliance in all of its vehicles by March 2023. If all goes as planned, the manufacturing version of the Waggon R FF will be on Indian roads by 2025. There is no word on the price, but we expect it to be slightly higher than the hatchback's current ex-showroom price, which runs between Rs 5.3 lakh and Rs 7.10 lakh. This vehicle debuted at the SIAM Ethanol Technology Exhibition in Delhi, which was similar to the 2023 Auto Expo. Suzuki Corporation Japan is helping to create this device, and we will learn more about it in the coming days.

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