Maruti Suzuki Baleno, the premium hatchback manufactured in India and the upcoming compact crossover Ignis have been nominated for the 2017 World Car Of The Year (WCOTY).
Both the cars have been nominated under the Urban Car category. The WCOTY judging panel includes 73 automotive industry journalists who will arrive at the winner on each of the categories.
For the Urban Car category, the car should qualify as less than four meters in length with everyday practicality in an urban environment and should be on sale in two continents by the end of fiscal.
While the Baleno measures 3.99m, the Ignis measures at 3.70mm qualifying for the judging. Apart from these two cars under the category, BMW i3, Citroen C3, and E-Mehari and Ford KA+ (Figo) are in the race for the top honour.
The Suzuki Baleno was first launched in India in October 2015 and then launched in Europe in June 2016 qualifying in the two continents criteria. The premium Hatchback from Maruti Suzuki was sold through its Nexa premium outlets in India.
While in India, the Baleno comes powered with the 1.2-litre K-Series petrol unit and a 1.3-litre DDiS diesel engine was available as well. The petrol mill comes with the option of 5-speed manual and a choice of an automatic gearbox as well.
The diesel unit of the Baleno is paired to the 5-speed manual gearbox only. The Suzuki Baleno in Europe is sold as Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki (SHVS) technology and is equipped with a lithium-ion battery and integrated starter generator.
The premium hatchback is available in the 1.0-litre Booster Jet engine as well in Europe, this will be soon available in the upcoming Baleno RS in India.
As for the Ignis crossover, the car is expected to be launched in early 2017 in India, was first launched in Japan and recently unveiled at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. The India bound Ignis is still confirmed on what powertrain will be used.
The Europe-bound Ignis will be powered by the 1.2-litre Dualjet petrol engine churning out 89bhp and will come optional with a four-wheel drive and will be offered with the SHVS technology as well.