The country’s largest car manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL), has firmed up plans to launch its luxury sports sedan Kizashi early next month. The vehicle, to be imported fully from parent Suzuki’s facility in Japan.

Kizashi, meaning ” Powerful” in Japanese will be positioned between the likes of Honda Accord and Toyota Camry at the upper end of Honda Civic, Volkswagen Jetta and Toyota Corolla at lower end. These cars are priced around Rs 12 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.

The car, to be imported as completely built units from Japan, is expected to be priced at Rs 16-18 lakh.

Executives at MSIL declined to comment on the pricing points, but said Kizashi would be the most expensive car in the Maruti portfolio. Kizashi would be officially launched on the second of next month.

Mayank Pareek, managing executive officer (marketing and sales), MSIL, said, “With Kizashi, we will complete the range of products we have on offer. The luxury car segment is not big at the moment. But going ahead, the A4 and A5 segment will grow considerably. This car is our attempt to be future ready.

Kizashi is a crossover luxury sports sedan. It will be positioned between the likes of Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic at the lower end and Toyota Camry and Honda Accord at the higher end of the luxury sedan segment.

Kizashi is powered by a 2.4-litre petrol engine and will be available in both manual and automatic transmission options.

The automatic transmission variant is expected to cost around Rs 1 lakh more than the manual one.

With the Kizashi launch date set for February 2, the company will first focus on the top 11 cities, followed by the top 20, which represent 63 per cent and 80 per cent of the market for such cars.

Positioned as a “luxury sports sedan”, it shares the Grand Vitara’s 2.4 litre petrol engine with power output upwards of 170 bhp.

This product segment represents just one per cent of the car market and has grown 53 per cent in the first three quarters of this fiscal to 13,838 units.

Maruti Suzuki expects the Kizashi sedan to do what the Grand Vitara sports utility vehicle could not, which is to give it a strong foothold in the premium car market.

The vehicle will be imported fully from parent Suzuki’s facility in Japan.