Malcolm Flynn | Apr 23, 2012

A new stretched people-moving version of Suzuki's Swift hatch has launched in the Indian market.

Dubbed 'Ertiga', the new car is a long-wheelbase version of the Swift hatch we see in Australia, packing seating for seven within its modest footprint.

Maruti Suzuki already produce the Swift hatch for the Indian market, along with a sedan version called Dzire.

The Ertiga was designed by Suzuki in Japan, but with India and South East Asian markets in mind.

“Ertiga is a major step forward for Maruti Suzuki. Many urban families in India are now looking for a vehicle that offers more space and flexibility than a sedan, without being bulky, bland and expensive like an MPV”, Maruti Suzuki CEO S. Nakanishi said.

Maruti Suzuki has coined the title ‘Life Utility Vehicle’ to describe the Ertiga’s long hatchback form factor, and aims to expand on the Indian MPV market which reportedly accounts for nearly 10 percent of the passenger vehicle market.

The Ertiga is 415mm longer than a Swift hatch overall, with a 330mm longer wheelbase. Width remains at 1695mm, giving credence to Maruti Suzuki’s claim that Ertiga has ‘car-like ride and handling capabilities while offering MPV-like space’.

Development of the new model has been made easier by sharing much of the Swift’s components, similar in approach applied to a project that saw the previous-generation Vitara become the XL-7 SUV.

 

Australia

While such a model would be unique in Australia and could prove a cost-effective alternative for young families needing seven-seat practicality, it remains to be seen if the Ertiga will hit local showrooms.

Speaking with TMR today, Suzuki Australia’s Andrew Ellis confirmed that there are no current plans to bring the Ertiga to the Australian market.

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