Maruti Suzuki to launch cars with 6-speed gearbox this year

New Delhi, Mar 13: Maruti Suzuki’s ‘family car’ image will get a major boost this year when the company launches a six-speed gearbox which will effectively make its cars even more driver-centric. The car market leader’s entire portfolio, ranging from Alto to Ciaz, currently run on five-speed gearboxes. A six-speed transmission, which is codenamed MF30, will substantially boost the overall driving performance of the car. “Maruti is looking to shore up the use of six-speed transmissions in a gradual way. Starting with 50,000 units in the first year the demand is projected to go to 400,000 units per year by 2020”, said an industry source. The first six-speed transmission car under this programme will likely be the Swift hatchback, which the company commercially launched last month with a five-speed gearbox. An additional sixth gear enhances fuel efficiency because of better spacing of gears. The car essentially runs at a higher speed but at lower RPMs. For instance, cruising speed of 80-100km/hour on the highway can be done in the sixth gear rather than in the fifth gear. This will put a lot less stress on the engine. In addition to a better fuel economy there is much less cabin noise in the car in a six-speed gearbox car. A response from Maruti Suzuki stated “We don’t give guidance on future products and technologies”. This will not be the first time that Maruti Suzuki is using a six-speed gearbox. It had used this technology in the previous generation S-Cross, a premium cross-over with a 1.6 litre diesel engine, which met with limited success. (Agencies)