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Funky mobiles from Maruti

This seems to be the year of concepts at Maruti, as was evident at its pavilion in the Auto Expo. The centre of attraction this year seems to be the theme of the display ? Suzuki, from two-wheelers to cars.

india Updated: Jan 17, 2004 19:13 IST

This seems to be the year of concepts at Maruti, as was evident at its pavilion in the Auto Expo. The centre of attraction this year seems to be the theme of the display – Suzuki, from two-wheelers to cars. The idea is to display how Suzuki’s experience in motorcycles helps it to manufacture car engines that are compact, light and packed with performance.

The display starts with the Suzuki GSX-R 1300 Hayabusa, the world’s fastest bike. The next evolutionary step is shown in the Formula Hayabusa Racer. The Hayabusa Racer morphs into the Concept S2, a dynamic and futuristic concept car widely heralded as the ‘forerunner of Suzuki’s next generation vehicles’ and believed to point in the future direction of Suzuki styling. It has a chunky shape with 18 inch alloy-wheels. The wraparound window and the vertical headlights heighten its dynamic shape. The S2’s dashboard takes inspiration from the wings of a biplane with aluminum uprights reminiscent of a motorcycle. Push buttons on the steering wheel replace all standard controls like the gear lever, handbrake, direction indicators and wipers. The air conditioning and audio system are controlled and managed via data input similar to that of a mobile phone. The Advanced Navigation System follows routes downloaded from the net or via e-mail. It also exchanges data with other vehicles on the road and communicates with them. The intelligent key card locks, unlocks and starts the car, while with the fingerprint authorisation, the driver can set up the Concept-S to the favourite engine and suspension configuration. The software also allows downloads, storage and exchange of MP3 music.

The other concept car at the Maruti pavilion is the Suzuki Twin, a gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle, bringing hybrid technology for the first time to such small cars. Housing a slim electric motor between the petrol engine and the transmission, the Twin has an “automatic idling stop” system wherein the engine automatically switches off when at a traffic light or a traffic jam, contributing to lower emissions and greater fuel efficiency. The smallest car in Japan, it comfortably seats two people with luggage space at the rear and a built-in multi-purpose box. And did you know that an all-women team designed it!

First Published: Jan 16, 2004 11:42 IST