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Maruti Seems To Be Brewing A More Fuel-efficient Fronx

The spy shot of the heavily camouflaged test mule indicates that it is equipped with Maruti’s CNG kit

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  • Maruti Fronx is a Baleno-based crossover SUV expected to arrive in March.

  • The spied model had an emissions testing kit at the rear, indicating it’s the CNG version.

  • The CNG kit should be provided with the 1.2-litre petrol engine as seen on the Baleno.

  • Likely to be offered on the mid-spec variants at a premium of around Rs 1 lakh.

Maruti Suzuki unveiled the Baleno-based crossover called ‘Fronx’ at Auto Expo 2023. At the time of its unveiling, the carmaker had shared that the car will be offered with two petrol engine options. However, our latest sighting of the car has us believing that Maruti is likely brewing a more fuel-efficient version of the Fronx (read CNG) for buyers looking to go lighter on their pockets otherwise burdened with high petrol bills.

The spy shot shows the Fronx draped in heavy black camouflage, sporting an emissions testing kit at the rear. The carmaker should offer the CNG kit option with the 1.2-litre naturally aspirated engine (90PS/113Nm) of the Fronx that is offered in the Baleno. 

The same unit makes 77.5PS and 98.5Nm in CNG mode and comes with a five-speed manual transmission only. With the alternative fuel option, the Fronx CNG could also return a higher claimed mileage, like the Baleno (30.61km/kg of CNG, 22.35kmpl on petrol claimed).

While this is the latest buzz with respect to the Fronx, it also made noise at the time of its unveiling as it marked the return of the enthusiast-favourite 1-litre turbo-petrol engine (100PS and 148Nm) last seen on the Baleno RS. The motor is now equipped with mild-hybrid tech, and comes teamed with either a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic gearbox.

As is the case with the Baleno CNG, expect Maruti to equip the mid-spec Delta and Zeta trims of the Fronx with the alternative fuel kit. The CNG variants could command a premium of around a lakh rupees over their corresponding petrol-only trims. 

We are expecting Maruti to launch the petrol variants of the Fronx in March and follow it up with its CNG variants. The Fronx CNG’s rivals will be the CNG variants of the Maruti Baleno and Toyota Glanza and possibly the Maruti Brezza CNG and Tata Nexon CNG as well.

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