The Tata Altroz premium hatchback, which will be launched in India during July-August 2019, could take a diesel-only approach, at least initially. The car is likely to borrow the 1.5 liter diesel engine from the Nexon compact SUV. On the Nexon, this engine makes 108 Bhp-260 Nm. If Tata Motors offers this engine in the same state of tune, the Altroz will become the most powerful hatchback in its segment. On the other hand, if Tata detunes this engine to 92 Bhp-201 Nm, like a new report claims, it will still make it a reasonably powerful motor. It’s unclear as to why Tata will not offer a petrol engine at launch in the Altroz. The automaker has both naturally aspirated and turbocharged versions of the 1.2 liter-3 cylinder petrol engine. It offers this engine in the likes of the Tiago, Tigor and Nexon.
It’s said that Tata will eventually offer a petrol engine in the Altroz. The exact timeline of this is yet to be known. Tata Motors’ approach to initially launch the Altroz as a diesel-only car is quite surprising. Car makers across the spectrum are talking of moving away from diesel engines for their small cars. In fact, Maruti Suzuki – the country’s largest automaker – has announced that it wil stop building diesel engined cars from April 2020 even as the Bharat Stage 6 (BS6) emission norms kick in. Even Mahindra is planning to discontinue the 1.2 liter-3 cylinder turbo diesel engine that is offered on the KUV100. In such circumstances, Tata’s decision to launch the Altroz as a diesel-only car comes as a surprise.
In a while though, we expect the car to get the 1.2 liter turbocharged petrol engine from the Nexon. This motor makes 108 Bhp-170 Nm on the Nexon, and could be offered in the same state of tune on the Altroz. The Altroz will be Tata’s first premium hatchback for the Indian market. It was first showcased as a concept at the 2018 Indian Auto Expo. The production version of the car was shown at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, and the actual launch is just months away. The Altroz will be a rival to the likes of the Maruti Baleno, the Honda Jazz and the Hyundai Elite i20.
While Tata is yet to reveal the features that the Altroz will pack in, we’re expecting the car to be feature-packed. From the latest touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a stereo with 6-8 speakers, automatic climate control, rain sensing wipers, reverse parking camera, automatic headlamps to ABS, 6 airbags, speed alerts and cruise control, the Altroz is likely to be at par with the segment leaders, if not better in terms of the sheer range of features on offer. The car is likely to be priced lower than all these cars as Tata could take a value-pricing approach to its latest offering as well.