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Future models - Suzuki - XA Alpha

Delhi show: Indian SUV sticks to Suzuki 4x4 roots

Mini SUV: The tiny Suzuki XA Alpha concept was revealed at the Delhi Auto Expo.

Suzuki’s sub-Grand Vitara concept is more off-roader than urban SUV

Suzuki logo6 Jan 2012

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS

SUZUKI’S show-stealing Concept XA Alpha may appear similar to a Kia Sportage soft-roader, but under the modern angular visage is a chassis that one Maruti/Suzuki insider described as “more off-road capable than Vitara”.

Pointing to generous ground clearance, short overhangs and the company’s 4WD expertise, Maruti Suzuki designer Jagjit Rana told GoAuto at the Delhi Auto Expo that the concept was underpinned by an all-new platform.

“It is not a replacement (for) any existing Maruti Suzuki model,” he said. “Right now it is just a styling exercise.”

Among the design highlights are the pronounced upward wedge line, new iteration of the Suzuki logo set within the grille, hawk-eye-like LED headlights, L-shaped tail-lights, integrated roof bars, stylised front bar and fog light treatment and 255/50 R19-shod clover-leaf alloys.

Likening the aggressive look as an evocation of traditional Indian wrestling (‘a power sport of self-control, discipline and chastity’), the concept was developed at the company’s headquarters near New Delhi in nine months, where it is intended to be built if it is given the green light.

Sitting on a 2.5-metre wheelbase, the show car is about four metres long, 1.9 metres wide and 1.6 metres tall.

The X (for crossover category) A (for entry-level SUV) Alpha is a five-seater wagon aims to snare buyers to the Maruti Suzuki fold from a young driving age.

The concept is similar in size to the 1988 Suzuki Vitara, and is expected to eventually supplant rather than replace the ageing Jimny in Suzuki’s line-up.

As a result, the Concept XA Alpha is of vital importance to Maruti Suzuki, since it flags the company’s intentions to fill in a sizeable gap in its Indian compact SUV line-up against models like the Ford EcoSport launched at the same event.

Created in early 1981, Maruti is 54.2 per cent owned by Suzuki and is based in New Delhi.

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