Snapshot – The Maruti Suzuki Celerio and Tata Zest AMTs have revealed the huge latent demand that exists for low cost automated manual transmission (AMT) equipped cars in India. Automakers are sharpening up their knives with a slew of AMT cars lined up for launches over the next few months. CarToq rounds up five upcoming petrol and diesel powered cars that will see an AMT option being offered.
Maruti Alto K10 AMT
Sharing its 1 liter K-Series petrol engine with the Celerio, the Alto K10 will be the second Maruti Suzuki car to hop onto the AMT brigade. Along with the AMT option, the Alto K10 will also get a facelift, which will see the car borrowing the Alto 800’s body shell. The Alto K10 AMT will be the least priced automatic car sold in India, at least until the arrival of the AMT equipped Tata Nano. The Alto K10 Facelift with the AMT option is expected to be launched in India within the next few weeks, even as serial production of the pre-facelift Alto K10 has been stopped to make way for the new model.
Maruti Suzuki WagonR AMT
Early next year, the Maruti Suzuki WagonR tall-boy hatchback will raise its practicality quotient to an all new level by ushering in an AMT option. Since the WagonR shares its K-Series petrol engine with the likes of the Alto K10 and the Celerio, the addition of the AMT option will be a straightforward affair. The WagonR’s tall-boy form factor makes it a convenient car, in terms of ingress and egress, especially for the aged and infirm. The AMT option, quite literally promises to be a cherry on the cake.
Tata Bolt Diesel AMT
Early next year, the first-ever diesel powered automatic hatchback will be launched in India, in the form of the Bolt Diesel AMT. Using the 1.3 liter Fiat Multijet turbo diesel engine for which Magneti Marelli has already designed an AMT option, the Bolt Diesel will be similar to the Zest Diesel AMT. However, the car is expected to be much cheaper than the Zest, making it the lowest priced diesel automatic car in India. The added dose of convenience married to the frugality of diesel is likely to give the Bolt Diesel a great opportunity for success at the hustings.
Tata Nano AMT
Tata Motors showed an AMT gearbox equipped Nano at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo. Back then, the car also received other updates such as a cosmetic facelift, better quality interiors, a hatch lid and a larger fuel tank along with the AMT option. Ever since, Tata Motors has been testing the Nano AMT in and around Pune. The five speed AMT gearbox equipped Nano is likely to see the light of the day before the middle of 2014. The Nano AMT fits right into Tata Motors’ latest strategy for the Nano, of re-positioning the car a smart city commuter option, with convenience, affordability and fuel efficiency being the hatchback’s major selling points.
Mahindra Quanto Diesel AMT
The Quanto Diesel promises to be the first SUV in India to gain an automated manual transmission. A Quanto AMT concept made its way into the 2014 Auto Expo. While Mahindra announced a festive season launch for the Quanto AMT, the compact SUV’s newest variant is nowhere to be seen in the launch queue this year. The Quanto AMT is likely to make the production cut sometime next year, when Mahindra is also expected to give the compact SUV a mid life makeover. The 5 speed AMT on the Quanto will be sourced from UK engineering giant Ricardo and will be mated to the 1.5 liter-3 cylinder twin turbo diesel engine.