Suzuki has launched the XBee, a crossover which made its debut at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, in the Japanese market with a price tag in the range of ¥ 1,765,800 - ¥ 2,234,520 (about Rs 9.99 lakh to Rs 12.64 lakh).
The XBee, which is pronounced as ‘Cross Bee’, takes design inspiration from the Suzuki Hustler (already on sale as a Japan-only model). On the inside, it shares a lot of bits with the Ignis, including the instrument cluster, steering wheel, and climate control unit among others. It is also equipped with a host of active safety technology from Suzuki such as the Dual Sensor Brake Support (DSBS) and Back-up Brake Support collision-mitigation systems along with a 360-degree camera among others.
The Suzuki XBee is powered by the same 1.0-litre Boosterjet direct-injected turbocharged petrol engine as the Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS in India. The engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission and puts out 99PS @ 5500rpm and 150Nm of peak torque between 1700-4000rpm. The engine also features Suzuki’s mild-hybrid system technology (SHVS) and an optional all-wheel-drive system.
Will it Come To India?
Not really! There’s no doubt that this is a quirky looking offering and such vehicles don’t bring in the numbers that Maruti Suzuki needs to stay at the top. Remember the Zen Classic? (check out the picture above) It was touted as the quirkiest looking Maruti and was a flop in the market! Although Maruti Suzuki manages to sell a decent number of the retro-styled Ignis every month, it happens to be the least selling hatchback from Maruti’s stable with a monthly sales figure ranging between 3-4k units. Further, as mentioned above, the XBee is pretty identical to the Ignis when it comes to size and packaging. Hence, there is a strong chance that they could cannibalise the sales of each other even if they are sold through different dealership channels.