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    Tata Altroz i-CNG First Look

    Authors Image

    Aditya Nadkarni

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    What is it?

    Front View

    Tata Motors showcased a range of upcoming and updated passenger vehicles at the Auto Expo 2023. While most of us expected the Harrier and Safari facelifts to debut, the Indian carmaker surprised us with two new CNG models among others. Today we’ll be learning about the Altroz CNG version, the latter of which is termed i-CNG in the brand’s speak.

    Left Rear Three Quarter

    In terms of aesthetics, Tata Motors has kept the Altroz CNG version more or less identical to its petrol-powered sibling, save for the i-CNG badging on the boot lid. A few notable design elements include projector headlamps, LED DRLs, 16-inch dual-tone alloy wheels, a shark-fin antenna, gloss black inserts all around, two-piece tail lights, an integrated spoiler, and C-pillar mounted rear door handles. The Altroz was a good-looking hatchback to begin with, and the company has possibly carried on with the concept of ‘why fix it if it isn’t broken’, something that we agree with in this case.

    How is it on the inside?

    Open Boot/Trunk

    The first thing to come to one’s attention would be the lack of bootspace in a CNG-powered car. But that is not the case here. Tata Motors has managed to fit not one, but two CNG cylinders below the luggage carpet in the boot. This will result in the space inside the boot remaining unchanged when compared to the petrol-only sibling, although the lack of a spare wheel could be worrisome for a few.

    Dashboard

    Inside, the Altroz i-CNG features dual-tone upholstery where the black seats and dashboard dominate the interior, while a healthy splash of beige adorns the roof. The upper section of the dashboard gets a silver finish, a highlight that is carried over to the centre console, right around the gear lever.

    What kind of features will it get?

    The Altroz CNG showcased at the event featured an electric sunroof, which is not offered in any variant of the Altroz that is currently on sale. Once the prices are announced, the Altroz could go on to become the first CNG car to feature a sunroof.

    Sunroof/Moonroof

    Elsewhere, the Altroz i-CNG comes equipped with a seven-inch Harman-sourced touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, leatherette seats, rear AC vents, automatic climate control, armrest for the second row, height-adjustable driver seat, and auto-folding ORVMs. It gets safety features in the form of six airbags, ABS with EBD, rear parking sensors, a seat-belt reminder system, and a speed alert system. The Altroz has previously scored a five-star rating in the Global NCAP crash test.

    Front Row Seats

    Tata Motors also showcased a new 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system on various models at the Auto Expo 2023, and we expect this updated screen with better graphics and touch response to arrive with the CNG-powered Altroz upon launch.

    What is it powered by?

    Under the hood, the Tata Altroz i-CNG will continue to be powered by the 1.2-litre Revotron petrol engine that produces 85bhp and 113Nm of torque. The power output in CNG mode though, will drop to 76bhp and 97Nm of torque. A five-speed manual unit will be the sole transmission on offer.

    Coming to the CNG tank, the twin cylinders have a combined capacity of 60 litres (water equivalent). It also boasts of a few segment-first features, such as a single ECU in the CNG range, direct start in CNG, and twin cylinders for storage. Also up for offer is a modular fuel filter, an auto-switch function between fuels, a micro-switch to keep the car off at the time of refueling, a leak detection feature, and a fire protection device.

    Left Side View

    With the emission norms getting stringent with each passing year, and the advent of EVs in the mass-market range, CNG models will play a crucial role in finding a middle ground, thus returning a better economy while removing any chance of range anxiety at the same time.

    What about its price, competition, and launch?

    Right Rear Three Quarter

    Tata Motors has not officially announced a launch timeline for the Altroz-CNG, although we expect it to arrive in Q2 FY23. The CNG version could be priced between Rs 8.50 to Rs 10 lakh (ex-showroom). Once launched, the Altroz iCNG will rival the CNG-powered versions of the Baleno and Glanza.

    Pictures by Kapil Angane and Kaustubh Gandhi

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