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Indian automaker Tata has dedicated the past few years to revamping its entire product range for the country's market. The company has launched several new cars in recent times that have gained a lot of traction among common people and enthusiasts alike. The carmaker is working on several new platforms, powertrains, as well as transmissions in order to capture a major chunk of market from rivals. After Harrier, next in the lineup by the manufacturer is the much-awaited Altroz premium hatchback. The car is expected to be rolled out by the Diwali festive season in India.
As enthusiasts await the launch with bated breath, new reports have suggested that Tata will follow the Harrier route and not launch the Maruti Baleno-challenger with automatic gearbox. This means the company will launch the hatchback with only a manual box initially. This development comes as a surprise given the fact that Altroz will take on rivals that come armed with automatic transmissions.
All trends suggest that automatic gearboxes are new crowd favorite as major cities become infamous for traffic conditions. As a result, Tata's move to not launch Altroz with auto box is confusing. The only reason we could think of is that the new 7-speed DCT transmission that Tata plans to use in this car is not be completely ready for production. For the unacquainted, Harrier SUV also currently comes with only a manual box but the company plans to launch a 6-speed torque converter in near future. Some industry observers have also suggested that Tata might offer only a diesel engine with the Altroz to begin with.
Coming to rivals of this premium hatchback, there is a long list of illustrious cars such as Maruti Suzuki Baleno, Toyota Glanza, and Hyundai Elite i20 that dominate this segment. All these have engine mated to automatic transmissions. Moreover, the upcoming Honda Jazz that will debut in India in the same segment in 2020 and feature an automatic transmission. So, for now, let us hope that the automatic Altroz is just a few months away as was the case with the Mahindra XUV300 AMT that was launched recently.
As for the engine options on the Altroz, the details are still under the wraps but we expect to see the 1.5-litre engine powering Nexon in this premium hatchback. In Nexon, it generates 108 Bhp peak power and 260 Nm peak torque. In Altroz, the engine will be re-tuned to offer 92 Bhp-201 Nm power and torque.
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