- The all-new Alto will arrive later this year around the festive season.
- Might adopt cross-hatch styling to rival the Kwid.
- Will move to a newer platform with revised powertrain options.
A test mule of what is most likely the new-gen Maruti Suzuki Alto was spotted recently at Kufri, near Shimla. This is the first time a test mule of the Alto's successor was seen on public streets and a production-ready model is expected to arrive later this year, perhaps around the festive season.
The heavily cladded test mule has a high ground clearance which might hint at a cross-hatch body style. There might be some inspiration from the Future-S Concept showcased at the 2018 Auto Expo. The high-riding stance and body cladding on the new Alto will give the Kwid a run for its money in a market such as ours which has a strong affinity towards SUVs/crossovers. It will also move to a newer platform, sharing its bits from fifth-gen HEARTECT architecture. Thus, the Alto will be bigger and lighter than before and more fuel efficient too.
The powertrain will be a pair of newly developed naturally-aspirated and turbocharged motors. But Maruti might give up the smaller 800cc engine for good and continue to use the 1.0-litre K10 engine with the new Alto. Both manual and AMT gearbox will be offered as well. The new powertrain will also meet the upcoming BS-VI emission norms. The new car will also be compliant to new-age crash test and safety requirement. As far as feature and equipment are concerned, Maruti won’t leave any stone unturned to make the new Alto one of the best packages on sale at its price point.
Maruti also has plans to introduce a micro-CUV in India to take on the fight against the Ford Freestyle. So the prototype spotted here could also be that model instead of an Alto successor. The Alto is one of the most successful monikers for Maruti in India with record sales to date. The carmaker sold more than 2.56 lakh Altos in 2018 and the hatchback has been clocking highest sales figures all through the last decade. In March last year, the Alto crossed the 35 lakh sales milestone in the country. So the third-gen Alto has some big shoes to fill when it arrives later this year. When launched, the new Alto will be slightly more expensive than the model it replaces.