THURSDAY saw the country’s largest passener car manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki India setting the ongoing Auto Expo ablaze with the launch of its multi-purpose vehicle Eeco. The latest offering from the company, apart from being price competitive has the potential to redefine the MPV segment, which so far does not have a seven-seater vehicle costing under Rs 3 lakh.
The vehicle is sure to gather the first mover advantage as it fills in the missing gap in the entry level MPV in the country. The product is from the existing Versa platform, and despite the failure of Maruti Versa, also an MPV, the auto industry is giving thumbs up to the vehicle. Interestingly, the recently unveiled indigenously built R3 concept, the first car of its kind to be designed entirely in India, is also an MPV.
The introductory prices of Eeco range from Rs 2.59 to 2.75 lakh (ex-showroom New Delhi). The vehicle will be available in five as well as seven seater options.
The drawbacks of this vehicle are that comes with a petrol engine and there are no plans for a diesel engine. Further, the seven-seater variant does not have company-fitted air conditioner, limiting its appeal in the metro and A class cities.
The 1.2 litre petrol engine has been developed by the company in-house and will be at present powering Eeco only.But the company hinted on possibility of taking the new engine on the other models as well. It has spent close to Rs 60 crore on the Eeco product including the engine. The new engine delivers 73 bhp of raw power @ 6000 rpm, a high torque of 101 Nm @3000 rpm.