Looking to consolidate its position in the entry segment of passenger car market, Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) has now come up with a compact, powerful and more fuel-efficient Alto K10 that is set to be launched in early November. In a first, the car will also have an auto gear shift variant similar to the Celerio and will be the most affordable automatic car available.
Lighter and with reduced length than its outgoing model, MSIL claims that the new Alto K10 will deliver a fuel efficiency of 24.07 km per litre (both manual and automatic) which is over 15 per cent more than that delivered by the outgoing car and 20 per cent more than its closest competitor — Hyundai Eon 1.0L Kappa (20.3 kmpl).
With a better engine compression ratio K10 delivers a power of 68 PS at 6000 RPM as against 68PS at 6200 RPM of the outgoing K10.
As a result, the car generates more power at even lower speed, providing a peppiness to the drive. It work on engine also takes it a notch above the Hyundai Eon’s 1.0L that delivers 69PS at 6200 RPM.
The company has also introduced drive-by-wire (DbW) technology for the first time in Alto which uses electronic controls to activate brakes, steering and the throttle as against the outgoing car which had physical controls.
While the auto gear shift is one of the most notable elements to have been introduced, the drive quality remains smooth with ease of transition from automatic to manual mode and vice-versa.
Limitation on capacity of automatic kits may, however, pose a bottleneck considering the fact that the company struggled to cater to Celerio’s demand. The company, however, says that it has added new capacity keeping the launch in mind.
“For Celerio, 40 per cent of the cars sold are AMTs and we did not initially anticipate this demand. We started with 1,000 AMTs but we raised it and now we are expanding the capacity for kits and will be touching a capacity of 5,000. While we have got this additional capacity for Alto K10, we do not expect automatic variant to account for 40 per cent of the K10 demand as it is an entry level car but if demand comes there may be some lag but we will be able to make it,” said RS Kalsi, ED, marketing and sales, MSIL.
Having undergone noticeable change in the interior and exteriors, the new car offers comfort and ample leg room to rear passengers but lacks sufficient leg room for the front passenger seat.
Likely to be priced marginally higher than the outgoing car, the automatic variant is learnt to be priced at sub-Rs 4 lakh, reasonably below the Celerio AMT.
Also available in CNG, the top-of-the-line version of the car offers safety features such as driver airbag and front fog lamps. While the new car has reduced its length by 75 mm on account of reduction in the (engine shaft space), the car is 15 mm wider and also 15mm higher and offers more head room.
The correspondent was in Chandigarh at the invitation of Maruti Suzuki India.