The benchmark technology of Fiat’s diesel engine has again emerged as the preferred choice for vehicles on India’s roads but this time powering premium SUVs.
Accordingly, the latest — 2.0 litre TD — engine derived from the legendary tech which powered most of the known diesel passenger vehicles in India now propels a select but premium range of SUVs.
Known to be a technological benchmark of its time, the engine type — 1.3 turbo diesel — was a record breaking diesel powertrain in India.
The 1.3 turbo diesel engine featured across various car brands such as Fiat, Maruti Suzuki, GM and Tata Motors in the past.
It was marketed as ‘Multijet Turbo Diesel Engine’ by Fiat, ‘Quadrajet’ by Tata Motors and ‘DDiS’ by Maruti Suzuki.
Notably, it featured on models such as Linea, Punto, Indica, Swift, Ertiga, SX4 and Sail amongst others.
However, the engine type had to be discontinued due to regulatory change from BS4 to BS6.
Fiat had produced a total of 800,050 of these turbo-diesel engines in India.
Moreover, the attractiveness of diesel was also on a downward trajectory with environment cess on many high powered SUVs coming into effect.
Nevertheless, the boom in the SUV segment which was first triggered via the compact category shifted the tide in favour of diesel engines.
This trend, especially, the rising demand for premium and larger SUVs is more evident due to the high power requirement and fuel efficiency.
Consequently, this segment has cleared the path for Fiat’s 2.0 litre TD engine type to become a preferred choice.
At present, the engine powers the likes of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (now known as Stellantis) Jeep Compass, Tata Harrier and MG Hector.
The current 2.0 TD is a BS6 and upgradable for future regulations.
“The share of diesel power trains has been on a declining trend in India due to price gap between petrol and diesel and increasing cost of BS-VI compliant vehicles,” said Shamsher Dewan, Vice President & Sector Head – Corporate Ratings.
“However, diesel engines are still preferred in larger SUVs due to better performance.”
Currently, these engines are manufactured by FIAT India Automobiles (FIAPL) at its Ranjangaon, Maharashtra based manufacturing facility.
FIAPL is a joint venture between Tata Motors and FCA (now known as Stellantis).
The company is the sole manufacturer of Tata Motors’ compact UV Nexon and FCA’s Jeep Compass model.
Presently, the powertrain production capacity in Ranjangaon is more than 350,000.