The Tata Altroz is the carmaker's first entry into the premium hatchback segment and has created quite a success story for the brand. The only thing missing during its launch was a powerful petrol engine option to offer a nice lively drive. Tata Motors catered to this demand by introducing a trim powered by a turbocharged engine like its arch-rival - the Hyundai i20. We are yet to test the latter but have put the Tata's hot-hatch under our V-Box test cycle.
This new Tata Altroz iTurbo variant comes powered by a 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol mill producing 109bhp and 140Nm of torque. It's mated to a five-speed manual gearbox with no option of an automatic transmission as of date. Here's an in-depth analysis of its performance in real-world conditions.
The force-induction iteration has given a much-needed boost and is apparent from the word go. Its throttle response is better than the standard petrol powered version, and thanks to a good mid-range, the 0-60kmph sprint was completed in 5.34 seconds. We think it would have been even better if the gear shift throws would have been shorter, yet this version still makes sure it’s a step up from the naturally-aspirated model. And, close to the claimed figures by Tata Motors, we managed to pull off a 0-100kmph acceleration run in 12.52 seconds, which might not be the segment-best but is still quite competitive.
20-80kmph in third gear
40-100kmph in fourth gear
Now, for the in-gear acceleration times, torque plays a major role in putting up faster times. And 140Nm of torque might not look very impressive on paper, but it’s a step up from 113Nm that the standard version delivers. More importantly, it's available at lower revs so one can keep up with traffic. And this shows in the 20-80kmph sprint in third gear achieved in 7.01 seconds. Needless to say, the turbo power has made quite an evident difference in pick-up and our roll-on tests are a good measure to ascertain this. The higher speeds are indicative of the sprints you'd do out on the highway. Consequently, the 40-100kmph run in fourth gear took 8.94 seconds, which isn’t bad for a car weighing one ton.
Tata Motors has slowly expanded the Altroz range in India alongside the petrol-diesel options, but has also given hot-hatch buyers a good alternative with this iTurbo. The turbo power has given a new lease of life to the petrol Altroz. It might not translate into a very sprightly performance as compared to its rivals, but still fulfils the need for a zippy premium hatchback through this turbocharged model.
Pictures by Kapil Angane