At the 2023 Auto Expo, Maruti Suzuki is likely to show off a concept for an all-electric SUV. This will be the first sign of the company’s EV plans for the Indian market. Tata Motors has taken an 84 percent share of India’s electric car market in less than 4 years, and India’s biggest automaker has yet to release an electric vehicle (EV).
The EV concept that Maruti Suzuki will show off is very important because it will be a preview of the company’s first all-electric car (code: YY8). This model is set to come out in January or February 2025. It will be the first EV the company makes. This electric vehicle will be Maruti Suzuki’s big idea for 2023, just like the Futuro-e and Future-S were for 2020 and 2018, respectively.
Like most EVs, the YY8 concept is expected to have a radical and futuristic design that will be very different from the company’s current ICE cars. It will be over 4.2 metres long, which is almost as long as a Creta, and its wheelbase will be 2,700 mm, making it even longer than the MG ZS EV.
Based on the 27PL platform, which is a modified version of Toyota’s 40PL global platform, the YY8 uses its long wheelbase to fit a big battery pack and a big cabin. As is the trend, the YY8 will have short overhangs and wheels as close to the edges as possible to make the most use of space without the constraints of a traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) car.
The YY8 SUV is likely to come with a choice between a 48kWh and a 59kWh battery pack. Under standard test conditions, the first one is expected to have a range of about 400 km, while the second one is expected to have a range of about 500 km. Maruti-Suzuki will buy LFP blade cell batteries from the Chinese company BYD, which makes batteries. Blade cell technology has big advantages in terms of weight, size, and range, and Maruti Suzuki hopes that its blade cells will give the YY8 a competitive edge, especially over Tata Motors’ hugely popular range of EVs, which use traditional, but less efficient, LFP cylindrical cells.
The YY8 will be available with both two-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, but it’s not clear yet if the all-wheel drive version will be sold in China. Power outputs should be between 138 and 170 horsepower.
The Maruti Suzuki YY8 electric SUV and a similar one from Toyota are expected to hit the Indian market by the beginning of 2025. Sources say that the company is aiming for a price in the range of Rs 13 lakh to Rs 15 lakh. This means that it will be about the size of an MG ZS EV SUV but will cost as much as a Tata Nexon EV. Maruti Suzuki may have been late to the EV game, but if the specs and price of the YY8 are any indication, this could be the car that makes Tata Motors look bad.