The Indian auto market is soon going to witness far-reaching changes due to the implementation of stringent emission and safety norms by the government. As a result, all most all car makers are revamping their existing product range to meet these new regulations. In line with rivals, India's largest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki is also updating its best-selling cars to get an edge in this cut-throat market. The company has already released new versions of its Alto and Baleno hatchbacks. New in the line were Swift and WagonR who also got new BS6 compliant engine from the carmaker. Going a step further, the brand has now added a CNG variant to its Alto range. The new Alto CNG will cost you Rs 4.11 lakh for base LXi variant and Rs 4.14 lakh for the LXi (O). Compared to the non-CNG version, the cost is around Rs 60,000 more.
Besides the CNG fuel option, the is no change in the new Alto. Its build and design is exactly the same as old Alto. It comes with the same old 796-cc, three-cylinder, naturally aspirated engine that generates peak power of 48 Bhp and maximum torque of 69 Nm. The CNG Alto is armed with a five-speed manual transmission and the engine can switch between CNG and petrol fuels on the go.
When it comes to feature, both models remain identical. Maruti has loaded this car with power steering, manual air conditioner, power front windows, child lock for rear doors, body colored door handles, chrome accents in cabin, retractable rear seatbelts, remote boot release, remote fuel lid opener, body-colored mirrors, and driver-side airbag as standard. The LXi(O) variant also gets the driver-side airbag.
What is amazing about thus Alto 800 is that it is compliant with the upcoming Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program (BNVSAP) crash test norms. The company is yet to revamp the more powerful Alto K10 with the newer safety norms. Earlier this year, Maruti had armed the Alto K10 with the mandatory safety features such as high-speed alerts, rear parking sensors, ABS+EBD, driver/co-driver seatbelt reminder, and a driver-side airbag. Without new updates, the Alto K10 will only be allowed to be sold in India after October 1, 2019.
Wondering why Alto brand is so important for the company? Alto 800 and Alto K10 contribute massively to the total revenue of Maruti Suzuki India.
It should be noted that BSVI norms will come into effect in India from 1 April 2020. Maruti Suzuki has made it official that it will not offer any diesel vehicle in the market after this. However, speculations are rife that the company will be forced to bring back diesel models if demand remains high.