This is the Maruti Suzuki Concept rIII, designed in India by a “team of young and enthusiastic engineers”. Built on a theme of “togetherness”, the Concept rIII is for the “big family” with “bigger needs” without the bulky looks of a traditional MPV. The seating configuration is in a 2-2-2 formation.

It’s a good effort that looks neat and modern, but after yesterday’s post on the Opel Meriva, we can’t help but draw similarities between the two. As with the GM product, the Concept rIII features rear-hinged “suicide” doors and a kink in the windowline! This compact MPV sits on a stretched SX4 platform with a monocoque body, so it should offer a more car-like experience compared to body on frame rivals like the Toyota Innova, which Indians are familiar with.

Shinzo Nakanishi, MD & CEO of Maruti Suzuki revealed that the company will introduce CNG (compressed natural gas) technology in the near future, so that could make an appearance in the production rIII. Or perhaps, Volkswagen drivetrains, now that Wolfsburg and Suzuki are walking hand-in-hand. Fiat’s 1.3-litre Multijet diesel should be available, as per Maruti Suzuki’s current cars.

Maruti Suzuki, which holds about 50% market share in India, will be keen to diversify its range as rivals take aim at the small car segment, which is its stronghold. The brand also showed off the Kizashi sedan (which it bills as Super Luxury) at the Delhi show.

More pictures after the jump!

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