Maruti Suzuki has begun dispatching the upgraded Alto 800 entry-level budget hatchback to dealership stockyards across the country. The Maruti Alto 800’s market launch will happen in a few days from now. It’s likely to be a soft launch. As a part of an upgrade to meet new safety norms under the Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program (BNVSAP) regime, the Maruti Alto 800 gets standard safety features such as a driver airbag, ABS, reverse parking sensors, seat belt reminders and speed alerts. Higher variants of the car add a passenger airbag to the equation. The car is likely to get about Rs. 10,000-15,000 pricier following these changes.
Spyshots courtesy Team-BHP
On the outside, the upgraded Maruti Alto 800 gains a new front grille and bumper. The rear is more or less similar to the outgoing model save for revised badging. On the inside, the Alto 800 borrows the dashboard from the Alto K10, and this means it now features a twin tone dashboard for the first time in its production history.
Apart from these changes, the Alto 800 is more or less the same car in mechanical terms. It continues to use the 796cc, F8D 3 cylinder petrol engine with 48 Bhp of peak power and 69 Nm of peak torque. A five speed manual gearbox drives the front wheels of the car. The Alto 800 is also available with a CNG-Petrol dual fuel option in select markets.
The upgraded Alto 800 is a stop-gap arrangement of sorts, meant to keep the car on sale until the September of 2019, when an all-new version of the car will arrive into the market. The all-new Alto 800 is expected to get styling inspired by the Future S micro crossover that was shown at the 2018 Indian Auto Expo.
Along with crossover inspired styling, the car will get a slew of safety features that will make it much stronger than before, and also comply with more stringent BNVSAP norms that come into effect from October 2019. These safety norms will also mandate a stronger body structure for all cars sold in India.
Maruti Suzuki’s new Alto could feature major mechanical changes. The engine is expected to be an all-new unit that will meet the upcoming Bharat Stage 6 (BS6) emission norms. The BS6 norms come into effect from April 2020, and are meant to make all cars sold in India more fuel efficient and less polluting. There’s talk of the new Alto gaining a 660cc-3 cylinder turbocharged petrol engine. Maruti is yet to confirm this development.