Suzuki will reportedly preview its first electric vehicle in concept form next year ahead of a launch in 2025.
Autocar India reports the YY8 SUV concept will be revealed at the Auto Expo 2023 in January.
The production model will reportedly be launched in January or February 2025 by Maruti Suzuki, the Indian subsidiary of Suzuki, but is also being developed for global markets. The publication notes 50 per cent of production volume out of the Gujarat plant will be for export.
It will reportedly be similar in size to the MG ZS EV with a length of 4.2m and a wheelbase of 2.7m.
It’s being co-developed with Toyota, which will also sell a version of the SUV.
A small electric SUV called the bZ Small Crossover was one of the 16 diverse electric concepts previewed by Toyota last year, though it didn’t release any dimensions or other specifications for the vehicle.
It has shed more light on the bZ Compact SUV concept, but that vehicle is quite a bit larger at 4538mm long.
Autocar India reports the YY8 will use the 27PL skateboard architecture, derived from the 40PL platform – better known as e-TNGA – that underpins the Toyota bZ4x and Subaru Solterra twins.
The company is reportedly targeting a price equivalent to A$23-27,000, which would see it undercut the ZS EV in India and essentially match the smaller Tata Nexon EV.
It’ll reportedly be offered with a choice of 48kWh or 59kWh Blade lithium-iron phosphate batteries sourced from Chinese automaker BYD, with approximate range of around 400km with the smaller battery and around 500km with the larger one.
The YY8 will reportedly also be offered in either two- or all-wheel drive configurations, with power outputs ranging between 103kW and 128kW of power.
It’ll reportedly have a modern EV look, with short overhangs and styling different from other Suzuki models. The company previewed what a Maruti SUV electric SUV could look like back in 2020 with the Futuro-E concept.
It won’t be the first Suzuki model to be exported widely out of India, with the recently discontinued (locally) Baleno also sourced from there.
Maruti Suzuki dominates the sub-continent, holding just under half of the market there. However, it has a weaker grip on the fledgling Indian EV market, with Tata Motors holding around 84 per cent.
Plans to launch an electric version of the Suzuki Wagon R in India were scuttled, and the brand has thus far not offered any EVs in that market – or anywhere else, for that matter.
The YY8 concept won’t be all that Maruti Suzuki takes to Auto Expo 2023.
Also expected to be revealed is the production version of the forthcoming Jimny 5-Door, which is understood to be in line for an Australian launch.
While Suzuki has introduced electrified vehicles in the form of hybrid and mild-hybrid models in markets like Europe, it has yet to do so in Australia.
The first hybrid model – the S-Cross – isn’t due until 2024.
“By 2025, if you look at the [voluntary] CO2 standards that the FCAI have put together… The way we can meet it is only by introducing electrified technology,” Suzuki Australia managing director Michael Pachota told CarExpert in October.
“We’ll potentially have hybrid mostly across the range, and maybe some form of electrification down there but we can’t confirm anything on that just yet.”