Maruti Suzuki Ignis
Maruti Suzuki IgnisSuzuki

Maruti Suzuki Ignis is expected to be launched in India early next year and as we all know, the preparations to welcome the new compact crossover are well underway in the country. If the emerging reports are anything to go by, Maruti Suzuki has stopped the production of its hatchback Ritz in India to make way for the upcoming Ignis.

According to ET Auto, Ritz has not been in production for past two months and the car could be replaced by Ignis. The production stoppage of Ritz had also made headlines earlier. However, then Maruti Suzuki denied the reports saying that the car was still in production.

Ritz is one of the models of the company, which failed to meet the expectations of Maruti. The car has been clocking average sales of 3,000 units per month, which is on the lower side, when compared to the sales of other models of the company. Launched in 2009, Ritz has not received any major update in India. It is being said that Maruti Suzuki would be looking to remove some of its slow-selling cars from the line-up to achieve its sales target of two million by 2020. However, Maruti is yet to comment on the latest development.

Ignis, the compact crossover which was showcased at Auto Expo 2016, was earlier expected to make its market entry during the festive season this year. However, production constraints of Maruti's current hot-selling models like Vitara Brezza and Baleno pushed the launch to 2017. Maruti Suzuki Ignis is now speculated to come by February 2017.

Maruti Suzuki Ritz
Maruti Suzuki RitzMaruti Suzuki

Under the hood, Ignis is expected to get a 1.2-litre VTVT petrol engine and a 1.3-litre MultiJet diesel unit under the hood, and the crossover could also get SHVS (Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki) technology in India. Maruti is also said to be considering a 1.0 BoosterJet turbo-petrol engine for Ignis and it could also be made available with Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) box.

Ignis will be sold through Maruti Suzuki's premium showrooms -- Nexa -- in India and will be pitted against Mahindra KUV100. As for pricing, rumour has it that Ignis would get a starting price tag of Rs 5.5 lakh.