Maruti Suzuki, India's largest automaker, has unveiled a lineup of CNG-powered vehicles that run the gamut from entry-level compacts to sedans and right on up to MPVs. The company's factory-fitted CNG engine technology, dubbed "intelligent-Gas Port Injection" (i-GPI), will be immediately available on five popular models, including the SX4, Eeco, Wagon R, Estilo and Alto. According to Maruti Suzuki:
[i-GPI] bi-fuel technology offers an intelligent ride. Intelligent, as it ensures more power vis-à-vis retro-fitted CNG vehicles and offers a peppier ride experience on par with that of a petrol-fueled engine, while achieving high fuel efficiency at the same time.
Initially, the five CNG-powered models will be offered in Delhi, Mumbai and Gujrat, but as India's government expands its rapidly developing CNG infrastructure, Maruti Suzuki hopes to offer all five vehicles nationwide. The company states that its "launch of CNG technology vehicles will help the eco system by using a clean and cost-effective fuel in India." While this statement may be supported by some, it remains questionable at best. Follow the jump for more info.

[Source: Maruti Suzuki]

PRESS RELEASE

Maruti Suzuki introduces next generation CNG technology

Launches five factory-fitted CNG models across segments


Advantage Customer:
  • Contemporary i-GPI technology
  • Vehicle body design for CNG system
  • Performance and Driveability at par with gasoline powered engine
  • Safety reinforced: High Quality Components, Integrated wiring harness, CNG system leak-proofing, toughened suspension
  • High fuel efficiency Dual ECU system for enhanced performance
  • Lower running costs by 60 percent
  • Extensive performance testing
  • Peace of Mind: Full warranty coverage, Service support across the country
  • No compromise on engine life
The country's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki today unveiled its flagship CNG engine technology, 'intelligent-Gas Port Injection' or i-GPI on five popular models. The CNG vehicles were unveiled by Mr. Jairam Ramesh, Hon'ble Minister of State (Independent Charge) Environment and Forests in the presence of senior government dignitaries and Maruti Suzuki management team. The models include SX4, Eeco, WagonR, Estilo and Alto and are being launched in Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Gujrat. With this initiative, the CNG footprint of the company spreads across entry level cars, compact cars, sedans and MPV segments.

On the occasion, Maruti Suzuki India Chairman RC Bhargava said, We are happy to bring contemporary CNG technology to the Indian customer. We are confident customers would value our i-GPI technology that is safe, reliable, clean, responsive and environment friendly. Adapting the CNG technology in our vehicles is another step to keep low cost of ownership for our customers.

Shinzo Nakanishi Managing Director & CEO Maruti Suzuki India said, The development is significant on multiple counts. This is the first instance when a car manufacturer has developed and launched factory-fitted technologically superior CNG engines in India. Compressed Natural Gas is environment friendly and also reduce country's dependence on imported fuels. Maruti Suzuki's big ticket entry into CNG fuel segment augurs well for the environment.

Peppy and responsive 'intelligent-GPI technology'

The i-GPI or Intelligent Gas Port Injection bi-fuel technology offers an intelligent ride. Intelligent as it ensures more power vis-à-vis retro-fitted CNG vehicles and offers a peppier ride experience at par with that of a petrol-fueled engine, while achieving high fuel efficiency at the same time. The factory fitted CNG vehicles score very high on safety and reliability vis-à-vis the aftermarket retro-fitted options. Maruti Suzuki CNG vehicles pass through all the quality checks, processes and systems similar to a regular car manufactured at Maruti Suzuki plants.

Service support across the country

As the CNG technology is factory fitted the customers will enjoy the full warranty benefits including extended warranty. To top it all, the CNG vehicles from Maruti Suzuki will enjoy the nationwide back up of over 2700 Maruti Service Stations.

The simultaneous launch of five CNG vehicles with the same contemporary technology demonstrates the company's intent and future readiness to produce environmentally friendly vehicles in large numbers.

Steps in Environment care

Maruti Suzuki has the distinction of introducing a host of environment friendly programmes ahead of government regulations and the industry. This includes implementing End of Life Vehicle (ELV) programme ¿ where harmful elements like Lead, Cadmium, Chromium and Mercury are not used in making vehicles. Maruti Suzuki produced the first BS-IV and E-10 compliant engines much ahead of regulations coming to force in the country. Developing a factory-fitted CNG engine is another effort by the Company to contribute to a clean environment.

Technology up

The factory fitted CNG vehicles use advanced Intelligent Gas Port Injection technology. Maruti Suzuki R&D team has integrated this technology with the Company's range of engines and products to bring the benefits to the consumers.

In a leap over alternative aftermarket options, the i-GPI technology is a Dual ECU (Engine Control Unit) technology. This highly reliable system delivers accurate amounts of gas to the engine thus ensuring improved and consistent performance under various driving conditions.

The i-GPI technology uses separate injectors for each cylinder. Based on inputs from the ECU, metered CNG quantity is injected to the engine through gas ports. The quantity of CNG required for different driving conditions is controlled by the dedicated ECU, leading to more efficient fuel usage. Similar to the usual pre-launch evaluation, each of the cars with i-GPI CNG technology has been extensively tested for around 2 lakh kilometers in varied terrains. In addition, over 3,000 hours of bench tests have validated the design and performance to bring unmatchable combination of performance and reliability for the customers.

While working on the new CNG technology, Maruti Suzuki engineers focused on critical aspects of safety, reliability and performance.

CNG for the future

Government of India has committed to developing the infrastructure and network of the CNG stations across the country. This is in line with government's aim to reduce the dependence on import of fossil fuels. With the discovery of large gas reserves in the country the network of CNG supplies is set to expand rapidly in near future. Maruti Suzuki's launch of CNG technology vehicles will help create the eco system for use of a clean and cost effective fuel in India.


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