Maruti Suzuki Alto has emerged as the No.1 selling vehicle in the small car segment thanks to 44,000 pre-orders it has received in just one month of its launch. Ammar Alvi tries to find out what makes it so special among the Indian customers.
Maruti Suzuki Alto created a soft spot in the hearts of thousands of Indians from the time it was first launched in the country. Placed a notch above the iconic 800 model, the Alto was frugal, easy to maintain, peppy and had just what the driver needed for the Indian driving conditions. The company, which in October launched the all-new redesigned Alto 800, has already crossed pre-orders of more than 44,000, making it the No.1 selling vehicle in the small car segment. Although the company can manufacture 25,000 to 30,000 Altos a month, customers would still need to wait till they get their favourite keys.
The Alto 800 is powered by a 796cc, three cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine. The F8D petrol engine, which was also used by the older Alto and 800 car models, is completely reworked in the Alto 800. In the Alto 800, this engine produces more power and torque with peak power rated at 47PS and peak torque rated at 69Nm. The engine is paired with a five-speed manual gearbox, which gets improvements for better gear shift quality. The petrol variant offers fuel efficiency of 22.74 kmpl while a much in demand CNG variant called Alto Green offers fuel efficiency of 30.46 km per kilogram that is 13 per cent more than the outgoing Alto Green variant.
Pricing varies from Rs 2.44 lakh for the base petrol variant to `3.56 lakh for the CNG LX1.
The company engineers have been working on this model for the past four years and the car is seen with a fresh new look, smarter interiors, enhanced space and 15 per cent more fuel efficiency than its predecessor.