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By Kap Maceda Aguila
SUZUKI PHILIPPINES, INC. (SPH) has formally opened the door to electrified mobility. Last week, the company, led by Director and General Manager for Automobile Norihide Takei, took the wraps off the Ertiga Hybrid.
Notably, all four variants of the updated seven-seater MPV are powered by a 1.5-liter internal combustion engine supplemented by an integrated starter generator (ISG) and 12-volt lithium-ion battery, with the system being called the Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki (SHVS). This also features the company’s Engine Auto Stop Start System (EASS), which cuts off the engine when the vehicle stops — leading to increased fuel efficiency. When the engine is off, the system draws power from onboard batteries. The ISG then restarts the engine when the throttle is engaged. The ISG is also put to work to aid in acceleration. Meanwhile, when the Ertiga decelerates, the ISG charges the vehicle’s batteries.
The familiar K15B mill musters a maximum of 103hp and 138Nm; the ISG can blurt out an additional 3.1hp and 50Nm. The vehicle runs on 185/65 R15s.
Other new features of the Ertiga Hybrid include a 4.2-inch full-color TFT LCD multi-information display, cruise control, and automatic headlamp with follow-me-home headlamp function.
In a statement, Mr. Takei said, “The introduction of the new Ertiga Hybrid marks a great beginning for SPH as we introduce our first hybrid entry in the market. With the Ertiga being our flagship and best-selling model, incorporating the hybrid technology and other benefits that it has, this makes the product a well-packed choice for our customers.”
“The conversations about protecting the environment are getting louder and the pull of sustainability is getting stronger,” added the executive in a speech ahead of the launch of the model.
He described the Ertiga Hybrid as “very practical,” and boasting “self-charging technology.” It is also the first in the local seven-seater MPV segment to banner a hybrid powertrain.
On its exterior, the Ertiga Hybrid exhibits a long shoulder line and aerodynamic roofline. The front fascia is marked by an updated grille, while its tailgate bears chrome accents, along with a Hybrid emblem to distinguish it from its predecessors. Inside, the three-row MPV is said to boast configurability or flexibility to accommodate a mix of people and cargo.
For safety, a two air-bag system, anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, hill-hold control and electronic stability program (ESP) are provided to the vehicle. In addition, the familiar Suzuki TECT (Total Effective Control Technology) and new Heartect platform which make the body light and rigid — effectively absorbing impact in case of a collision, and improving overall driving dynamics.
The four variants are divided into two four-speed automatic transmission and two five-speed manual-transmission trims. Drivers are conveniently given cruise control and audio system controls in the D-shaped steering wheel. The Ertiga Hybrid GLX gets a 10-inch touchscreen audio system with Smartlink connectivity, along with a start-stop button.
The new Suzuki Ertiga Hybrid is offered in Snow White Pearl, Silky Silver Metallic, and Cool Black Pearl for the GA variant; additional colors of Metallic Magma Gray, Burgundy Red Pearl, and Brave Khaki Pearl are available for the GL/GLX variants.
The company said that the Ertiga Hybrid further adds to the Suzuki “reputation of offering fuel-efficient vehicles.” According to a study overseen by the Automotive Association Philippines (AAP), the model yielded a consumption rate of 12.54 kpl or 7.6% better than the regular-engined Ertiga during city driving.
Significantly, car browsers should note, said Suzuki, that the Ertiga Hybrid “qualifies (for) EVIDA (or Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act) implementing rules and regulations.” This means exemption from number coding; a 15% discount on motor vehicle user’s charge, vehicle registration, and inspection fee for eight years from the effectivity of EVIDA; and priority lane on vehicle and franchise registration.
The Suzuki Ertiga Hybrid is priced as follows: GA M/T (P954,000), GL M/T (P1.068 million), GL A/T (P1.103 million) and GLX A/T (P1.153 million). The model is available in all 71 Suzuki Auto dealerships nationwide. For more information, visit Suzuki’s official website at https://www.suzuki.com.ph.
When asked by “Velocity” whether the company is looking at bringing in more hybrids soon, Mr. Takei smiled and said, “We’ll see.”