2012 Auto Expo: Maruti Suzuki XA-Alpha concept analysed
Maruti Suzuki XA-Alpha concept was showcased on Day 1 of the
2012 Auto Expo in New Delhi; we bring you our thoughts about the same.
Maruti Suzuki, as usual, was the show-opener for the Auto Expo – but
contrary to everybody’s expectations of witnessing the launch of the
Ertiga on day one – it was the unveiling of the XA-Alpha Concept that
got the Expo underway.
In a nutshell, the Maruti Suzuki XA-Alpha is a compact-SUV concept. Its
dimensions look very similar to that of the beloved Maruti Suzuki Gypsy,
but this concept looks brawny with its muscular design, unlike the
understated (and outdated) looks of the Gypsy. Maruti Suzuki implies
that the XA-Alpha’s design is inspired from the moves and the body
language of Indian wrestlers – and therefore you see the muscular lines
and the butch stance on the XA-Alpha. The Lava-red colour in which the
XA-Alpha was displayed, is said to add vigor to the overall design.
To us, the concept looks like it is inspired more from the Land Rover
Evoque than Indian wrestlers – the receding and floating roofline, the
flared wheel-arches, the shape of the air-dams on the front bumper, the
gills on the side – they all look too much like the Land Rover Evoque
(pictured below). But the XA-Alpha, even in its concept form, doesn’t
look even half as polished as the Evoque. But frankly, it doesn’t even
need to. Its production version will be look conventional and will be
placed in the Rs 8 to 12-lakh bracket – which is at least four steps
lower than the segment in which the Evoque dwells.
We expect the XA-Alpha to go into production in the next couple of
years, so probably the 2014 Auto Expo should see a ready-for-the-road
version of this concept. When produced, it will compete with the likes
of the upcoming Ford EcoSport and the Renault Duster. The model will, in
all likelihood, replace the aged Maruti Suzuki Gypsy (and Jimny in the
global market). In fact, the production version of the XA-Alpha will be
co-developed by the Indian team at Maruti Suzuki, in collaboration with
Suzuki’s team in Japan.
Such compact SUVs / Crossovers are soon to become popular in countries
like India for their practicality in the congested conditions that our
automobiles are subject to day in and day out. If the Gypsy’s cult
following is anything to go by, we expect the production version of the
XA-Alpha to be a big hit as well!