Autocar India has managed to get their hands on the test mule of the Maruti Suzuki RIII concept based MPV which looks very close to production. While some shots of a white diesel variant the R3 MPV hit the internet last afternoon, thanks to the blokes at Team-Bhp, Autocar too has joined the fray with these on-road shots of the MPV. As you can see, apart from the body type, there is hardly anything common between the RIII Concept shown at the 2010 Auto Expo and the R3 test mule that you see in the photos.
The production version of the R3 is based on an extended platform of the Ritz small car and it is pretty evident from the significantly similar design of the headlights, bonnet and honeycomb grille. The R3 test mule has large airdams for the intercooler and has a tallish design for the fog lights.
The roof has been given a corrugated design to added rigidity and a utility-vehicle feel. Adding some more flair is the wrap-around rear windshield which gives the pillar-less look to the tailgate. Unlike the elongated stacked-up taillights of the concept, the production mule uses tiny units that could bear a cheap manufacturing cost.
The interiors of the R3 test mule come straight out of the upcoming Maruti Suzuki Swift. Makes sense, since using the same elements in multiple cars will bring down production costs and in turn help MSIL project the product at a cheaper price tag. The R3’s production model could seat between six to seven persons depending on the seat configuration. The test mule seen here seems to have a two-three-two configuration much like the Innova, albeit, with a lesser width.
The platform sharing won’t end at the interiors alone. The R3 is expected to use the 90PS version of the 1.3-litre DDiS diesel engine (Fiat Multijet platform) that powers the SX-4 and will be the main bread earner for this MPV. Expect a powerful version of the 1.2-litre K-series petrol engine to make its way into the R3 too.
Maruti Suzuki had aimed at a Rs. 7-lakh base price for the RIII concept’s production model. With a fair amount of platform sharing involved, it seems quite likely that MSIL could achieve its target price. Would you buy the R3 MPV or would you spend a little extra dough and get the Toyota Innova instead? Let us know…
Sources: Autocar India and Team-Bhp