Maruti Suzuki has unveiled a Wagon R prototype in New Delhi that runs on flex fuel as part of its ongoing evaluation of flex-fuel technology for the Indian market. The Wagon R prototype is designed to run on an ethanol-petrol blend between 20 percent (E20) and 85 percent (E85).
Maruti claims that it has been designed and developed locally with the support of Suzuki Motor Corporation, Japan. The prototype was unveiled in the presence of the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari.
The wagon R prototype sees various attractive modifications in line with flex-fuel claimed to reduce tailpipe emissions by up to 79 percent compared to regular petrol
All Maruti cars are to be E20 compliant by March 2023
Maruti Suzuki Wagon R Flex Fuel Prototype:
What’s Been Upgraded?
Flex fuel vehicles require some modifications over regular gasoline engines in order to be able to handle the corrosive nature of ethanol and its low calorific value.
The Wagon R Flex Fuel Prototype, therefore, comes with new fuel system technologies such as a heated fuel rail for cold start assist and an ethanol sensor for ethanol percentage detection. It also sees updates to the engine management system, fuel pump, fuel injectors, and other mechanical components to make the engine more durable. The engine will also be compliant with the more stringent BS6 Stage-II emission norms.
Hisashi Takeuchi, Managing Director & CEO, of Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., claims, “The ethanol fuel-based Wagon R flex fuel prototype running on E85 fuel will help reduce tailpipe emissions by up to 79 percent compared to the conventional gasoline Wagon R, while This will ensure .power and performance.
Maruti claims that it will introduce its first flex fuel vehicle in the compact segment by 2025. Also, as we have already reported, all the company’s cars will be E20 compliant by March 2023.
Apart from flex-fuel, Maruti is also pushing in a big way on other alternative fuels like CNG and Bio-CNG – it currently has the widest range of CNG vehicles in the country. And while the company is slowly building up its strong hybrid portfolio, it will introduce its first full-electric vehicle in India by 2025.
Toyota is Also Exploring Flex-Fuel Technology
However, this is not the first time that a carmaker has explored flex-fuel technology for the Indian market. Earlier in October, Toyota showcased its latest-gen Corolla hybrid which was designed to run on ethanol-blended fuel. It was used as a technology demonstrator and a pilot project to test flex-fuel-powered cars in India. The Corolla Hybrid was powered by Toyota’s 2.0-litre petrol engine capable of running on E85 ethanol, and also came with enhanced hybrid technology.