The 2017 Maruti Suzuki Alto is likely to get an all-new platform that will make it lighter, faster and more frugal than the existing model.
The new-generation Maruti Suzuki Alto will get an all-new design and platform. (Image courtesy - en.responsejp.com)
Witnessing transformation in the budget space, India’s largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki India is prepping to remodel its highest selling mini-hatchback, Alto. The 2017 Maruti Alto will vault over to next generation, implying radical design changes on the outside and inside. Until a few years ago, budget space was attributed to high affordability and low running cost. While these two components remain, carmakers are now also paying attention to other aspects including visual appearance and features.
Back in 2011, when Hyundai ventured into the sub-4 lakh hatchback segment with Eon, it had high hopes to topple Alto’s reign. Built on Hyundai’s flexuous Fluidic design tenet, Eon turned heads, though it could not prove its worth commercially. In 2015, Renault rolled-out its ace model, Kwid which not just changed notions but went on to be one of the highest selling models in the segment.
Adapting to the new norms in this space, Maruti is readying a modish rendition of its otherwise mundane Alto hatchback. It is believed that the new Alto could be based on Suzuki’s patented entry level hatchback sketch released lately. The sketch gave inkling into Suzuki’s upcoming hatchback which seems inspired by Suzuki Alto Lapin. New design elements resembling that of a crossover will be introduced on the hatchback in line with new-age hatchbacks in this space.
While it will wear new livery, the hardware will be retained from the current model. That said the 800cc petrol unit is expected to be tuned for increased output. Transmission options on the carline will remain unchanged, with the five-speed manual gearbox and AMT unit paired to the engine.
The new Maruti Alto will reportedly underpin an all-new, lightweight platform, warranting improved performance and fuel economy. It is expected that Maruti could use the 658cc petrol engine from Suzuki Alto lapin/Kie, whereas the India-spec model is likely to retain the 800cc petrol engine. The carline is expected to be offered with a five-speed manual gearbox and an AMT unit.
Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) had released patented sketch of an entry level hatchback early this year. The hatchback seemed to be heavily inspired by Suzuki Alto Lapin. It is being expected that the new Alto could take design cues from the sketch released lately. Maruti could make changes in tandem with the Indian market and try to give it crossover-ish looks.
Reckoning the current market trend, customers have developed more liking for vehicles sporting crossover like looks, hence Maruti wants to follow suit to lure customers. Moreover, the success of Renault Kwid testifies this theory. Hence, be prepared to see your favourite mini-Alto hatchback transform into a more contemporary and chic vehicle.
Maruti has not revealed any detail regarding the launch of new-gen Alto. This implicates that the Maruti will take its time to develop the 2017 Alto. We think that Maruti could bring the new Alto either by 2017 end or early next year at the 2018 Auto Expo.
|Base||Rs 3 lakh|
|Top||Rs 4 lakh|
The new generation Maruti Alto will witness an upward price change. Comprehensive changes expected to be made to the exterior and interior will bring about a slight shift in its pricing compared to the current model. It is expected that new Alto price could fall between Rs 3.80 lakh to Rs 4.5 lakh.
The new lightweight platform will slice extra weight from the hatchback and will be an advantage in terms of performance and mileage. In addition, the engine will be calibrated to return up to 30kmpl of fuel economy. If Alto lives up to this number, there will be a drastic change in the fuel economy from current 24.7kmpl.
The budget segment has been Maruti’s strength, although the company witnessed slight dip in sales compared to new cars modelled on fresh design strategy. Going squarely against Renault Kwid in the budget hatchback space, Alto will sport aesthetic and mechanical updates in a bid to retain pinnacle. Other models that will pit against it upon launch include Datsun redi-GO and Hyundai Eon.
This is all what we have for now, we’ll update you on this as soon as the company reveals something. Stay tuned to IndiaCarNews.