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Former Maruti CTO claims the new Swift emits 47 percent lower emissions and is 50 percent more efficient.

When it comes to manufacturing cars, saving weight is a top priority, and nowhere is this journey better chronicled than in one of India’s top selling car models, the Maruti Suzuki Swift. Over two decades, Maruti Suzuki has managed to shave off 100kg, says CV Raman, executive committee member and former CTO, Maruti Suzuki India.

  1. New Swift’s CO2 emissions down to 95.6g per km from 147g
  2. Lightweighting plays pertinent role in EV energy conservation

“Since the launch of Swift in 2005, we have changed the powertrain and platform of the brand twice. With the new Heartect platform underpinnings, the fourth-generation model is the lightest yet,” said Raman in the keynote address at our sister publication, Autocar Professional’s Vehicle Lightweighting Conference.

Highlighting a massive reduction of 47 percent in carbon emissions, Raman said that the first-gen model used to emit 147g CO2 per km, which has now come down to 95.6g per km. “The fuel efficiency of the new model has improved by 50 percent. We have been able to achieve this by making use of lots of alternate materials in manufacturing,” he added. 

In his presentation, Raman revealed how new grades of steel like Advanced High-Strength Steel (AHSS) and Ultra High-Strength Steel (UHSS) are helping car manufacturers usher in an era of robust, lightweight vehicles that improve fuel efficiency and lower emissions without compromising on safety. “We have improved the usage of AHSS and UHSS in structural parts as they have significantly higher minimum tensile strengths. While we have enhanced the share of UHSS and AHSS from 6 percent to 17 percent and 2 percent to 4 percent, respectively, in the current [Swift], the share of HSS has been reduced to 23 percent from 42 percent,” Raman revealed.

By using fewer materials, lightweighting strategies play a key role in making manufacturing processes more sustainable. Raman also underlined that automakers are exploring lighter materials beyond steel to lower the weight of automobiles. “Even though automobiles used to be exclusively made of steel, manufacturers are now shifting to aluminium, the most rapidly developing lightweight material, as well as magnesium and thermoplastic materials that provide higher efficiency and crash performance,” Raman mentioned.

According to market research firm Spherical Insights, the global automotive lightweight materials market was valued at USD 72.16 billion (about Rs 6 lakh crore) in 2022, and it is expected to reach  USD 137.8 billion (Rs about 11.5 lakh crore) by 2032, the firm noted.

On the EV front, Raman said that the role of electrification in meeting fuel economy and emissions regulations is still evolving. According to him, the lightweight concept plays a pertinent role in the domain of electric vehicle energy conservation, as lighter vehicles translate to comparatively less energy consumed under the same conditions. “The increased demand for EVs has compelled manufacturers to look for innovations in battery size and newer lightweight materials,” he added.

Shruti Mishra 

Also see:

2024 Maruti Swift review: does it stick to its ethos?

Maruti Swift CNG launch likely in the coming months

No sportier Maruti Swift RS or Sport for India



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