The Ritz comes as Maruti Suzuki's eighth launch in the last four years - and the fourth major hatchback after the Zen Estilo, Swift and A-Star. Built around the Swift platform, the Ritz will also share plenty of components with the runaway success. What then would define the Ritz' positioning and uniqueness.To this effect, the Ritz has a taller body design. In fact, it's clone-with-a-different-name Splash was made to replace the Suzuki WagonR in the international market, just like the A-Star was the next generation international Alto. To this effect, class beating headroom to add a feeling of spaciousness and well-being to the cabin is the largest achievement of the Ritz.
With its overall length of 3.7 metres height of 1.6 metres and a width of 1.7 metres, the Ritz offers a comfortable roomy cabin with ample legroom for 5 adults. Despite its large frame, the Ritz has a tight turning radius of 4.7 meters.
For a small car the Ritz has a lot of room, with headroom especially good. The rear seat is set higher than the front seats so all occupants get a good view out, and all seats are comfortable enough. It's a proper four-seater, and big enough for five at a squeeze. There's plenty of storage space including a flip-lid box on top of the dashboard, a fair glovebox and a tray ahead of the front passenger, but non-slip surfaces would make them more usable.
The boot looks small, especially front-to-rear, but there's a big compartment hidden under the false floor with the space saver spare wheel hidden in another layer below that. The rear seats fold down in one movement per side, the cushion cranking forward to make space for the descending backrest. The new flexible compact car combines the sportiness of Suzuki's successful model Swift with the technologies and immense know-how of the Japanese world market leader in the mini car segment.
Coloured surfaces for the dashboard create a youthful, casual look in the area of the passenger airbag and the upper part of the instrument cluster. Together with high-quality materials and a metallic-silver border on the centre console, they treat occupants to a pleasingly fresh ambience. The cockpit reflects a “less is more” approach, forming a stylish, functional space without superfluous flourishes or gimmicks. A large speedometer positioned centrally behind the steering wheel is easy to read and has all of the indicator lamps arranged around it.
A digital liquid crystal display (LCD) is positioned in the lower half of the speedometer and gives the driver additional information. In certain grades, a tachometer is separately mounted on the dashboard. The number of buttons is minimal, allowing for fewer distractions and thus raising safety. The shift lever is ergonomically shaped and is positioned relatively high in the centre console to minimise its distance from the steering wheel and permit extra storage space.
The Ritz has been launched with two engine options - one petrol and one diesel. The petrol one is the recently launched 1197cc, 4 Cylinders, K12M engine which generates 85 Bhp at 5500 rpm and maximum torque of 117 Nm at 4200 rpm.
The common-rail diesel is 1248cc engine which develops maximum power of 75 bhp, manufactured at Manesar in India. All these engines will be mated to a 5-speed gearbox.
To make the all-aluminium engine lighter and more fuel efficient, high grade plastic parts have been extensively used. The skirt area of the piston has been shortened to reduce weight, which helps in lowering friction and enhance fuel efficiency.
The gear lever is mounted high up and the driving seat is, like the steering wheel, adjustable for height. It controls an electric power steering system with about the right amount of weight but no true feel of the road. Its suspension is quite firm, in an effort to keep it agile despite the height, so it feels accurate enough in corners.
We've already seen how the new and ultra-low emissions K12M engine will make the Ritz India's first BS-IV ready passenger car. Engineers from the company have gone one step further and made design modifications to the engine to ensure E10 compatibility - meaning that the Ritz will be able to run on 10% ethanol-petrol blend - whenever the Government decides to implement the sale of such fuel.
With the growing involvement and dependence of vehicle mechanisms on electronics, it has become necessary to ensure that the electronics of the car do not malfunction when subject to disturbances emanating from communication towers, high voltage power transmission lines and communication devices. Although such Electro-Magnetic Compatibility (EMC) tests are mandatory in Europe, it yet has to be implemented in India. The Ritz however is the first Indian passenger car to have cleared these tests at VRDE's recently established EMC facility.
To ensure eco-friendliness, the Ritz does not use ecologically harmful substances like chromium, cadmium, mercury etc. This move will also make the Ritz completely safe to recycle for salvaging materials.
Providing safety for its consumers like in all of its other cars, the company will also be providing the i-CATS (intelligent Computerised Anti-theft System) on all the variants of the Ritz as well.
It is available in a choice of 8 fresh colours:
1) Superior White
2) Silky Silver
3) Fire Brick Red
4) Bakers Chocolate
5) Racing Green
6) Blue Blaze
7) Midnight Black
8) Glistening Grey
The petrol version is priced at Rs3.9-4.8lakh (Ex-Delhi) and the Diesel version is priced at Rs4.65-4.99lakh (Ex-Delhi). The prices are introductory offer and may be revised later.