Maruti Suzuki Ritz

Published: 14th May 2009
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To begin with, engineers from Maruti Suzuki worked at close quarters with their Japanese counterparts in the development of the Maruti Ritz, much like that for the A-Star. Bits and pieces here and there come together to make the Ritz a fairly different car as compared to the international Splash. Small modifications on the exterior have been implemented keeping in mind the developing Indian tastes, including a redesigned rear bumper that accommodates reflectors and RR fog lamps.

The heart of the car, which is the K12M engine, has been extensively tested, calibrated and tuned specifically for Indian conditions. Apart from this, a reworked gearbox uses gear ratios different from that of the Splash to match its driveability with Indian traffic conditions.

MUL seems to be going the complete distance to ensure that the Ritz manages to make an impact on the cut-throat A-2 hatchback space. Giving the car some added firepower are some interesting new tech-features that will help the Ritz distinguish itself from the competition. We've already seen how the new and ultra-low emissions K12M engine will make the Ritz India's first BS-IV ready passenger car. Engineers from the company have gone one step further and made design modifications to the engine to ensure E10 compatibility - meaning that the Ritz will be able to run on 10% ethanol-petrol blend - whenever the Government decides to implement the sale of such fuel.

Given that unlike in international markets, the rear bench is often used by three and not two adults, special emphasis has been given to the shoulder space and rear seat comfort - a redone seat profile included. To go with the same concept, the Ritz carries a redesigned central console has also been provided to ease the ingress and egress for rear seat passengers.

To take in the sometimes massive potholes in India, ground clearance of the Ritz is a good 30mm higher than that on the Splash. The suspension has been retuned for comfort as per Indian roads. A bigger and wider tyre has also been accommodated, along with the body redesigns needed for the same.

With the growing involvement and dependence of vehicle mechanisms on electronics, it has become necessary to ensure that the electronics of the car do not malfunction when subject to disturbances emanating from communication towers, high voltage power transmission lines and communication devices. Although such Electro-Magnetic Compatibility (EMC) tests are mandatory in Europe, it yet has to be implemented in India. The Ritz however is the first Indian passenger car to have cleared these tests at VRDE's recently established EMC facility.

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