Suzuki Alto

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Suzuki Alto
7th generation Suzuki Alto 02.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Suzuki
Also called Suzuki Mehran
Suzuki Hatch
Maruti 800
Maruti Zen
Maruti Alto
Daewoo Tico
Nissan Pixo
Suzuki Cervo Mode
Suzuki A-Star (India)
Production 1979–present
Body and chassis
Class Kei car
City car
Body style 3-door hatchback
5-door hatchback
3-door van

The Suzuki Alto is a small car (kei car) designed by Suzuki. Its selling points have long included a low price and good fuel economy. The model, currently in its seventh generation, was first introduced in 1979 and has been built in many countries worldwide. The Alto badge has often been used on different cars in Japan and in export markets.

First generation (1979–1984)[edit]

First generation (SS30/SS40)
Suzuki Alto 101.JPG
Overview
Also called Suzuki Fronte
Suzuki FX
Suzuki Hatch
Maruti 800
Production 1979–1984
Assembly Kosai, Japan[1]
Whanganui, New Zealand[2]
Body and chassis
Body style 3-door hatchback
5-door hatchback
3-door van
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive
Powertrain
Engine 539 cc (0.5 L) T5B two-stroke I3 (SS30)
543 cc (0.5 L) F5A SOHC I3 (SS40)
796 cc (0.8 L) F8B I3 (SS80, export only)
Transmission 4-speed manual
Suzuki Alto (SS80S), European market, note the big export bumpers and the 12-inch wheels.
Suzuki FX (SS80S), Pakistan, note the facelifted square front lights and extended plastic bumpers
1979 Suzuki Alto (SS30V) van

The first generation (SS30V/40V), introduced in May 1979, was a three-door cargo version of the Fronte passenger car, equipped with a folding rear seat. Front suspension comprised coils struts, with leaf springs at the back. Steering was recirculating ball, and brakes four-wheel drums.[3] On introduction, the Alto received the T5B two-stroke 539 cc (SS30) three-cylinder engine, producing 28 PS (21 kW) at 5,500 rpm. The Alto was a "micro sensation" when introduced, largely due to its rock bottom price of ¥470,000 (circa $1,900 in 1979, at a time when the cheapest Ford Pinto cost $4,999 in the US). This bargain price was made possible by a number of Japanese special concessions for commercial vehicles: The engine did not require twin catalysts, unlike in the Fronte. Two less doors provided another saving, as did the exemption from commodity tax. The Alto was a sensation, and other producers such as Subaru (with the "Family Rex") quickly followed suit with cut-priced "commercial" vehicles really intended for private use.[4] The Alto propelled Suzuki into seventh place in Japanese production (cars and trucks).[5]

In January 1981, the F5A four-stroke 543 cc known from the Fronte was also installed (though with only a single-barrel carburettor), it too put out 28 PS (21 kW) but at 6,000 rpm. Torque was considerably lower, down from 5.3 to 4.2 kg·m (52 to 41 N·m; 38 to 30 lb·ft).[6] 1981 saw also the year that it became available on the United Kingdom market, as Suzuki began selling cars there that year.

In export markets, the Alto name was used for the passenger car versions (chassis codes with trailing letter "S") as well as on commercials (ending in"V"), while the van was marketed as the "Suzuki Hatch" in Australia. The four-doors were not proper hatchbacks, only featuring an opening rear window. Export cars were also available with twelve-inch wheels, unlike the domestic versions which only used ten-inch units until the introduction of the 4WD version in October 1983. The 4WD "Snow Liner" thus gained an extra 2.5 cm (1 in) of ground clearance.[7] Most export Altos were passenger car versions (which used the "Fronte" badge in the Japanese domestic markets), and usually received the 0.8 litre F8B engine and the SS80 chassis code. The SS80 was also built in New Zealand, by South Pacific Suzuki Assemblers at a rate of six per day. It was introduced in New Zealand in March 1980.[2]

In Australia, the Suzuki Hatch, sold as a two-seat commercial vehicle to be taxed at 35 percent duty (as opposed to 57.5 percent for passenger cars) offered a standard 543 cc engine with 19.2 kW (25.7 hp) and 35 N·m (26 lb·ft).[3] The side rear windows were covered with fibreglass by default, with a glass panels optional.[3] The only other option was air conditioning.[3] M. W. Suzuki in Victoria introduced the "800 pack" in 1981 that included the 796 cc motor, said to boost not only performance, but also fuel economy.[3] The pack also added steel-belt radial tyres, 12-inch wheels (up from 10-inch), front-wheel disc brakes and bolder bumpers front and rear.[3]

While Suzuki held on to the two-stroke engine concept for a half decade longer than any of its Japanese competitors, eventually market pressures and ever tightening emissions regulations spelled its end in the Alto by September 1981. The Jimny, however, did use the same 539 cc engine (called LJ50 in the Jimny) as late as 1987.

Second generation (1984–1988)[edit]

Suzuki Alto "Juna" Special Edition (CA72)
Suzuki Alto "Juna" Special Edition (CA72)
Suzuki Alto Works RS-R (CC72)
Suzuki Alto Works RS-R (CC72)
Second generation (CA71)
Suzuki Alto Juna.jpg
Overview
Also called Suzuki Fronte
Suzuki Mehran
Maruti 800
Production 1984–1993
Assembly Kosai, Japan
Jiangnan, China
Chongqing, China (Changan Suzuki)
Body and chassis
Body style 3/5-door hatchback
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive
Powertrain
Engine 543 cc (0.5 L) F5A I3 (petrol)
796 cc (0.8 L) F8B I3 (petrol)
Transmission 4/5-speed manual
2-speed automatic
3-speed automatic

The second generation (CA71) was introduced in September 1984. It continued with the F5A engine of the SS40, but also became available with turbocharged and multi-valve engines thereof, mainly in the "Works" series. In December 1984 a four-wheel-drive version (CC71) was added. Performance versions of the Alto first appear in 1985 when a turbocharged engine was made available. It gradually acquired more performance-related modifications until the Works version was introduced in February 1987. The Alto Works was the first kei-car to reach the legal limit of 64 PS (47 kW). It acquired considerable popularity, with models of it still made by Fujimi. A 5-door body (identical to the Fronte's) became available in October 1985.

In July 1986 the CA/CC71 became the CA/CC72 after a rather thorough facelift. New wraparound headlights, a new dash and interior heralded the new ITL rear suspension (Isolated Trailing Link), a three-link rigid setup. A "Walkthrough Van" was introduced in January 1987, while at the other end of the spectrum, the personal coupé Cervo on the CA/CC72 base was introduced in 1988 with a new 547 cc F5B engine. In August 1987, higher spec Altos became available with a 3-speed automatic rather than the 2-speed they had been using before.

Other markets[edit]

Europe[edit]

The 796 cc, 40 hp (30 kW) F8B-engined CA/CB91 was sold in Europe with either a four-speed manual or two-speed automatic transmission. Export Altos were technically speaking Frontes, as this was the name used for passenger versions in Japan. They received larger bumpers, making them 105 mm (4.1 in) longer and 10 mm (0.4 in) wider. European Altos received the same facelift as the CA/CB72 did in late 1986, followed by a market specific facelift in January 1988, unveiled at the Brussels Motor Show.[8] This model remained in production (latterly by Maruti Udyog) for the European market until 1993, when it was replaced by an also Maruti-built 1-litre version of the Cervo Mode.

Pakistan[edit]

This generation of Suzuki Alto still remains in production in Pakistan.Known as Mehran, Available in 800cc Engine (F8B), in 2012 mehran was upgraded to an EFI engine for better fuel consumption. It was also sold in India as the Maruti 800 with a 796 cc MPFI F8B engine till mid 2012 as well.

China[edit]

Chinese Chang'an City Baby
Jiangnan Alto

In 1988 production began in China, in cooperation with Chang'an Motors. The Chang'an Suzuki SC7080 Alto was produced with the same F8B engine as used in other export markets, and was replaced by the facelifted SC7081 Alto/City Baby/Little Prince/Happy Prince in 2001. The top of the Line Happy Prince, discontinued in 2007, used the sportier looking front bumper, grille, and bonnet of the Alto Works. Citing lower sales, Chang'an ended production of the old Alto in July 2008, although other manufacturers continue to offer it.

Another version called JN Auto(German) is built by Jiangnan since 1992 and is still in production for the Chinese, Central and South American markets, although now it is called the 'Zotye JN Auto'.[9] As of Dec, 2010 Zotye's Jiangnan Alto is the cheapest car in the world, with a tag price of $2,830.[10] The entry-level model comes with the 796 cc F8B three-cylinder 36 PS (26.5 kW).[citation needed] A four-cylinder with a displacement of 1,051 cc and an output of 52 PS (38.5 kW) is also available. A version of the Jiangnan Alto was assembled until 2005 in Tunisia for African markets, labelled "Peugeot JN Mini".

Third generation (1988–1994)[edit]

Third generation (CL11)
Suzuki Alto 1992.jpg
1992 Suzuki Alto
Overview
Also called Suzuki Fronte
Daewoo Tico
Production 1988–1994
Assembly Kosai, Japan
Body and chassis
Body style 3-door hatchback
5-door hatchback
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive
Powertrain
Engine 547 cc (0.5 L) F5B I3 (petrol)
657 cc (0.7 L) F6A I3 (petrol)
Transmission
1992 Suzuki Alto (CR22)

The third generation (CL/CM11) replaced the CA71 in September 1988. This was the last generation of Alto to have an associated Fronte model. It had strikingly angular styling, with an unusual glazed C-pillar on the 5-door. Another curiosity of this generation was the availability of a version with sliding doors, the "Slide Slim", intended to simplify entering and exiting in tight spaces. It also made egress easier for the old and the infirm. When the Fronte name was discontinued in October 1989, the passenger car versions (CN/CP11) became Altos. Initially the CL11 used the 12-valve 42 hp (31 kW) F5B engine known from the SS71 Cervo, but with an added 34 hp (25 kW) 6-valve version in lower-spec versions. A 46 hp (34 kW) DOHC version was also available in the Twin Cam Rl. Passenger car versions had the same engines, but all with 2 hp less due to more stringent emissions controls. The fuel-injected, 12-valve, turbocharged Works models came with an SOHC 58 hp (43 kW) engine (FF S/X or 4WD S/R) or a 64 hp (48 kW) DOHC version (FF RS/X or 4WD RS/R). The front-wheel-drive Works' were available with a 3-speed automatic in addition to the standard 5-speed manual.[11]

660cc era[edit]

Alto/Works[edit]

When the Kei car standards were changed in 1990, capacity was increased to 657 cc (F6A) in March, the Alto becoming the CL/CM/CN/CP21 in the process. The new standards also allowed for a 100 mm (3.9 in) longer car, which meant new bigger front and rear bumper, and new headlights and grille. Lower grade Van versions received a 6-valve 36 hp (27 kW) engine, while passenger car versions (and the l'Èpo Van) got a 12-valve, 52 hp (39 kW) version. 4WD versions with the 3-speed automatic transmission were fuel-injected and offered 3 more hp. The F6A-engined Works RS/X and RS/R still claimed the legally limited 64 hp, but the lower grade i.e. Turbo (introduced in July) received a 6-valve SOHC-engine producing 61 hp (45 kW).[11] Reflecting decreased tax benefits for commercial Kei cars, the Works series was now classified as passenger vehicles, allowing for a real backseat.

In September 1991, responding to increasing safety demands, the Alto received side impact protection. Also, the vertical door handles (see picture on the right) on three-door versions were replaced by traditional horizontal ones. The reengineering was extensive enough to necessitate new model codes, with vans becoming CL/CM22 (FF/4WD) and passenger versions (including the Works) now called CR/CS22. While performance engines remained as they were, the "cooking" Alto's engines were updated with power outputs up to 40 and 52 hp respectively (29/38 kW).[12]

Alto Hustle[edit]

Alto Hustle (CR22S), equipped with Alto Works sideskirts
Lowered Alto Works (CN21) with after-market Watanabe Minilite-style alloys

Suzuki also produced a version (the Hustle) with a high roof behind the front seats, which was unusual in that it used a modification of the five-door Alto's body rather than a completely new body; this made it possible to link the Hustle with the Alto, but made the styling rather unharmonious. Its appearance was similar to the Nissan AD Max van. It was short-lived, only being offered between November 1991 and October 1993.

Table data is from Goo-net,[13] unless otherwise specified. ( · )=AT version, [ · ]=MT 4WD, { · }=AT 4WD

Fourth generation (1995–1998)[edit]

1997 Suzuki Alto (HA11)
1997 Suzuki Alto (HA11)
1997 Suzuki Alto (HA11)
Suzuki Alto Works (HA21)
Fourth generation (HA11)
Suzuki Alto 1994.jpg
Overview
Production 1994–1998
Assembly Kosai, Japan
Body and chassis
Body style 3/5-door hatchback
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive
Powertrain
Engine 657 cc (0.7 L) F6A I3 (petrol)
658 cc (0.7 L) K6A I3 (petrol)

The fourth generation (HA11) appeared in 1994. The 657 cc F6A engines were joined by a new high-performance 64 PS (47 kW) 658 cc K6A (HA21). The styling displays an interesting blend of features: the tailgate and rear doors are still fairly angular, but the front is beginning to be more rounded - a trend which would be continued in later years.

Fifth generation (1998–2004)[edit]

Fifth generation (HA12)
Suzuki Alto 003.JPG
Overview
Also called Chang'an Zen
Chevrolet Alto
Mazda Carol
Production 1998–2004 (Japan)
2000–2012 (Pakistan)
Assembly Kosai, Japan
Karachi, Pakistan (Pak Suzuki)
Body and chassis
Body style 3-door hatchback
5-door hatchback
3-door van
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive
Powertrain
Engine 657 cc (0.7 L) I3 (petrol)
658 cc (0.7 L) I3 (petrol)
1,000 cc (1.0 L) I4 (petrol)
Transmission
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,360 mm (92.9 in)
Length 3,395 mm (133.7 in)
Width 1,475 mm (58.1 in)
Height 1,440–1,455 mm (56.7–57.3 in)
Curb weight 630–800 kg (1,390–1,760 lb)
Interior

The fifth-generation Alto (HA12/22) was introduced in October 1998. The styling was generally more rounded, the shape of the cabin showing the Alto's relationship with the new Suzuki Kei. The 658 cc K6A engine was now also available without a turbocharger, joining the turbocharged version and the familiar 657 cc F6A engines. The turbocharged Works models were available with a 60 hp F6A engine (i.e., 5MT/3AT and FF or 4WD) or a 64 hp VVT K6A (RS/Z, 5MT and FF or 4WD). The front-wheel-drive RS/Z was sold with a non-VVT K6A engine when in combination with a 4-speed automatic transmission, it too with a claimed 64 hp. In December 2000, the Works versions were discontinued, as the Alto was realigned as an economy version. The Suzuki Kei Sports picked up the Works' mantle.

Several derivatives were produced from this generation. Suzuki produced two "classic-style" versions: the Alto C[15] with a deep chrome grille and a curious headlamp arrangement by which circular main lamps were joined with ovoid sidelights and indicators, which was shared with the Alto Works;[16] and the Alto C2[17] which had separate headlamps and sidelights and a wider grille. Mazda also sold the standard Alto as the Carol, and Mitsuoka used the Carol as a basis for their Ray. Pakistani production began in 2000 utilizing an old carburetor based F10A engine.[18]

The car was sold as a Chevrolet Alto in Colombia and Ecuador, equipped with a one-litre, sixteen-valve four-cylinder engine.

Facelift[edit]

Suzuki Alto (HA23V) van

In December 2000, the fifth generation Alto received a thorough facelift, becoming the HA23. As the Works was discontinued, naturally aspirated versions of the K6A became the only ones on offer, with either 54 hp (40 kW) or 46 hp (34 kW) in an especially efficient lean-burn iteration. Front- or four-wheel-drive, manual and automatic transmissions were available (no more CVT), in either a 3- or 5-door hatchback body. A 3-door van version remained available.[19]

Maruti Alto (2000–2012)[edit]

Maruti Alto
Maruti Suzuki Alto.jpg
Overview
Production 2000–2012
Assembly Manesar, India (Maruti Suzuki)
Body and chassis
Body style 5-door hatchback
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel-drive
Related Maruti Alto 800
Suzuki Alto
Powertrain
Engine 796 cc (0.8 L) F8D I3 (petrol)
998 cc (1.0 L) K10B I3 (petrol)
1,061 cc (1.1 L) F10D I4 (petrol)
Transmission 5-speed manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,360 mm (92.9 in)
Length 3,495 mm (137.6 in)
Width 1,475 mm (58.1 in)
Height 1,460 mm (57.5 in)
Curb weight 720 kg (1,587 lb)
Chronology
Predecessor Maruti 800
Successor Maruti Alto 800

The Maruti Alto is the Indian-built version of the fifth generation Alto, manufactured by Maruti Suzuki. It was launched in the local Indian market on 27 September 2000[20] although the Alto nameplate was very successfully being used to export the Maruti Zen to Europe from India since around 1994[21] having captured over 40% market share in Belgium and 33% in Netherlands by 1998.[22] It is the best-selling hatchback in India.[20] Since 2006, It is India's largest selling car[23] and crossed the 1 million production figure in February 2008 becoming the third Maruti model to cross the million mark in India after Maruti 800 and Maruti Omni and fourth overall joining Hyundai Santro.[24] A new version of the Alto called the Alto 800 was released in the Indian car market on 16 October 2012.[25] This new version of the car was the first major redesign of the Alto in the Indian auto scene after its introduction in India in 2000. It features new engines, a new design and added features among other changes. Besides being exported to Europe from 1994 to 2004, it has also been exported to several other countries.

Specifications[edit]

Until the late 2010 introduction of the K10 Alto, it was powered by a three-cylinder 796 cc gasoline engine with 4 valves per cylinder, MPFI and a 32bit ECM. All models have a five-speed manual transmission. There also used to be a VX/VXi model with a 4-cylinder 1061 cc engine (64 bhp/80 Nm torque) launched in April 2001. This has now been discontinued, although it is still sold in certain European countries. The VX model also featured a tachometer not found in lesser Altos.

800 cc Alto:

  • Maximum Power: 47 PS (35 kW) at 6,200 rpm
  • Torque: 62 N·m (46 lbf·ft) at 3,000 rpm
  • Acceleration 0–100 km/h: approximately 20 seconds
  • Top Speed: 137 km/h (85 mph)[citation needed]

Variants[edit]

Maruti Alto rear view

The Alto is offered in the following variants:[26]

Maruti Alto Models in India
Standard Base model, non-AC, launched in 2004.[27]
LX Upgraded, with AC, tinted windows, heater, floor front console with cup holders, fabric seats, etc.
LXi High-end, with extra features like integrated rear seat head restraints, remote fuel lid opener, electronic power steering, etc.

The Alto was seen as a natural successor to the time-tested and equally popular Maruti 800 (MB 308). It contained all the plus points that the 800 offered Indian car-buyers, in addition to features such as power-steering, power-assisted braking and a 5th gear that the 800 did not normally have. The popularity of the Alto has steadily increased over the past few years, mainly due to the aggressive pricing. This reduction in prices has mainly come in due to the reduction in excise duty over time. Alto became the first car in India to sell over 200,000 units in a single financial year, the last 100,000 units being sold in 5 months. Alto was also the only car to sell over 22,000 units in a single month. Maruti's vast network of dealerships and Maruti Authorized Service Centers (MASS) have also contributed towards this massive popularity in the Indian entry-level automobile market.

Maruti Alto with K Series Engine[28] Maruti Suzuki has launched a new version of Maruti Alto in the Indian auto market in August 2010. The new Maruti Alto K10 is equipped with the company's 1.0 L, K-series petrol engine which also currently powers the A-Star and Wagon R. The K10B engine delivers 68 PS (50 kW) of maximum power at 6,200 rpm with 90 Nm of maximum torque at 3,200 rpm. 0–100 km/h is possible in 13.33 seconds.[citation needed] The company's senior official said that they have no plans to discontinue the previous version with the launch of Maruti Alto. The K10 has a redesigned front end, with more sculpted headlights.

Maruti Alto 800 (2012–present)[edit]

Maruti Alto 800 LXi

The Alto 800 has all-new bodywork and interiors. It replaced the first generation Maruti Alto, and while keeping the 796 cc engine, there have been several modifications. The price of the Alto, already India's best-selling car, was actually lowered with the model change. Various methods were found to lower the price, including the lowering of the weight of each individual component by one gram each, and also by building their own robots for manufacturing the car.[29]

Variants[edit]

Standard - Base model of the Alto 800.

LX - Middle variant of the Alto 800. Gets AC, remote fuel lid opener etc.

LXI- Top end variant, gets power steering, Remote hatch opener, Remote fuel lid, Power windows, Adjustable Outside rear view mirrors, Digital clock.

LXI Airbag- Includes all features of LXI but also gets airbags.

Maruti Alto 800 CNG LXI- The top end variant of the line up comes with safety features like headlight levelling.high mounted stop lamp,engine immobiliser,front wiper and washer with intermittent, collapsible steering column, internally adjustable ORVMS, Power windows,Digital clocks,remote back opener,power steering, remote fuel lid opener, silver accent on instrument panel.

Maruti Alto 800 CNG Base- Maruti along with the regular variants has introduced CNG option which offers a whooping mileage of 30.46kmpl. Maruti Alto 800 comes with wavefront design,fresh and spacious interiors, 3 spoke steering wheel with silver accents and utility spaces on the dashboard.

Maruti Alto 800 CNG LX- Maruti Alto 800 CNG LXI boasts of comfort features like assist grips for the driver, front seat passenger as well as the rear seat passengers. There are can holders, coin holder and 1L botlle holder, plus the hatch offers dial type climate control,remote fuel lid opener and passenger side utility pocket. There are airbags offered as an optional accessory.[30]

Sixth generation (2004–2009)[edit]

Sixth generation (HA24)
2004-2006 Suzuki Alto HA24S.jpg
2005–2006 Suzuki Alto
Overview
Also called Mazda Carol
Nissan Pino
Production 2004–2009
Assembly Kosai, Japan
Body and chassis
Body style 5-door hatchback
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive

The sixth generation (HA24) was introduced in 2004. The bonnet and headlamps curved down at the front, giving a similar effect to the Toyota WiLL Vi or the Citroën C2. The Alto was realigned as a less costly car to accommodate new models such as the Cervo and Alto Lapin. The more powerful engines were moved into the other more upmarket versions like the Suzuki Kei Works and Alto Lapin SS, leaving the Alto with only a 54 PS (40 kW) version. In Japan, this version of the Alto was rebadged as the Nissan Pino and Mazda Carol.

Seventh generation (2009–present)[edit]

Japan[edit]

Seventh generation (HA25)
7th generation Suzuki Alto.jpg
2010 Suzuki Alto
Overview
Also called Mazda Carol
Production 2009–present
Assembly Kosai, Japan
Body and chassis
Body style 5-door hatchback
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive
Powertrain
Engine 796 cc (0.8 L) I3 (petrol)
Transmission 5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
CVT automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,400 mm (94.5 in)
Length 3,395 mm (133.7 in)
Width 1,475 mm (58.1 in)
Height 1,535 mm (60.4 in)

The seventh generation was first shown at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show alongside its sister car, the Mazda Carol. It is available with a 0.66L engine, a 5-speed manual, a 4-speed automatic or a CVT transmission, in FWD or 4WD variants. Under the Japanese 10-15 test cycle, the front-wheel-drive with CVT achieves 24.5 km/litre fuel economy.[31]

In 2011, Suzuki launched the Alto Eco variant, that features the R06A engine lifted from the Suzuki MR Wagon and an idling stop function. It is capable of reaching the fuel economy of 30.2 km/L (71MPG) based on Japan's JC08 Mode test cycle (32 km/L under 10-15 test cycle).[32] This is .2 km/L higher than the Daihatsu Mira e:S.

In 2013, the Alto Eco was updated with the addition of Suzuki's ENE-CHARGE system, first applied on the fifth-generation Suzuki Wagon R. With this technology, fuel economy has now improved to 33.0 km/L based on Japan's JC08 Mode test cycle.[33]

Suzuki evolved a New Model "Alto K10". Powered by three-cylinder units displacing 998cc. The engine is one of the best units in it class[citation needed] and is the only 1.0 litre twin cam engine available in the Suzuki range. The engine produces 68PS at 6200rpm and 90Nm torque at 3500rpm. Car has 5-speed transmissions and is smooth to operate. However the Alto's feels a tad better to use. The engine too is more refined and not as harsh as contemporaries. The power to weight figure is an impressive 88.88PS per tonne.

International[edit]

Maruti Suzuki A-Star
2010-2011 Suzuki Alto (GF) GLX hatchback (2011-04-22).jpg
Suzuki Alto (GF) GLX hatchback
Overview
Also called Suzuki Alto
Suzuki Celerio
Changhe-Suzuki Alto
Nissan Pixo
Production 2008–present
Assembly Manesar, India (Maruti Suzuki)
Chongqing, China (Changan Suzuki)
Body and chassis
Class City car
Body style 5-door hatchback
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel-drive
Powertrain
Engine 998 cc (1.0 L) K10B I3 (petrol)
Transmission 5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,360 mm (92.9 in)
Length 3,580 mm (140.9 in)
Width 1,680 mm (66.1 in)
Height 1,400 mm (55.1 in)
Chronology
Predecessor Maruti Alto

The Suzuki Alto available in international market is known in India as the Maruti Suzuki A-Star (short for "Alto-Star"), but is also known as the Suzuki Celerio in some other countries. It was launched in December 2008 by Suzuki's Indian subsidiary Maruti Suzuki.

It is actually a different car from the Japanese market one although they share the same name. The car is manufactured exclusively in Haryana, India and is exported worldwide. It is available in some European markets with a somewhat different front end as the Nissan Pixo. The car was rolled out to the Indian customers in December 2008 and exports began in April 2009. The Indian market version comes in three variants - LXi, VXi and ZXi.

The initial expected prices in the Indian market are 34500000 paise (US$5,700) (ex-showroom Delhi) for the LXI, 37200000 paise (US$6,200) for the VXI and 40600000 paise (US$6,700) for the ZXI. With this price tag, the car is targeted at customers with budgets somewhere between the Zen Estilo and the Swift.

With a totally new body and engine, Maruti hopes to bring freshness to the Indian car market, of which it already holds a major share. The 998 cc three-cylinder K10B was developed especially for the new car, and is also used for the Nissan Pixo. Initial reviews have been positive. The A-Star has a fresh new dashboard, with an available unique protruding tachometer besides the usual meter cowl (only in the ZXi trim). Along with the Swift, SX4 and Grand Vitara, the A-Star is part of an effort to change Suzuki/Maruti's reputation into that of being a producer of stylish cars.

Nissan Pixo[edit]

The Nissan Pixo is the "sister car" to the Suzuki Alto featuring a few obvious differences, including the main grille and headlamps.[34] It was revealed at the 2008 Paris Motor Show and is available in Europe since 2009.[35] Because it is developed and built low-cost in India, the Pixo can be bought new for just under £7,000 and nearly a third of that price for a used one.[36]

The main competitors are the Toyota Aygo, Kia Picanto and Hyundai i10, all also small hatchbacks but all offering more luggage space than the Pixo.

Trim Variants/Engines

The UK has 4 different trims available for the Pixo: N-Tec, Visia, Acenta and Tekna, all available with a 1.0 L Suzuki K10B three-cylinder petrol engine - shared with the Alto and capable of 68 hp (51 kW) and a top speed of 155 km/h (96 mph), reaching 100 km/h in 13.5 seconds. All are five-door hatchbacks, with the option of a 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual gearbox, except the Visia, which is only available with the manual gearbox.

Nissan Pixo (Europe)

Front view
Rear view

Maruti Celerio[edit]

Main article: Maruti Suzuki Celerio

On February 2014, Maruti Suzuki unveiled an all-new Celerio, which replaces the A-Star and Zen Estilo and is marketed to compete with the Honda Brio, Hyundai i10, Ford Figo, Chevrolet Beat, and Nissan Micra Active.[37][38]

Export markets[edit]

1994 Suzuki Alto, the model marketed in Europe, based on the Suzuki Cervo
2009 Suzuki Alto, European market version of the Maruti Suzuki A-Star

Most early export Altos were technically speaking rebadged Suzuki Frontes, as the Alto nameplate was only used on commercial versions in Japan. These were exported with changes such as enlarged engines, sometimes modified bodywork and various different names. Thus the SS40 Fronte became the SS80 Alto with a 796 cc engine. However, as Suzuki made agreements with companies such as Maruti to build their models, it began to be possible to sell different models to different areas:

  • The CA71 model is produced with the 796 cc engine in India as the Maruti 800, in Pakistan by Pak Suzuki as the Mehran 800, and in China by (among others) Chang'an, Jiangbei and Jiangnan. This model, rather than the CL11, was exported to Europe until 1994.
  • The CL11 model was built in Korea, Poland, Romania and Uzbekistan as the Daewoo Tico, and in China by Anchi.
  • In 1994, the CA71 Alto was replaced in European markets by the Maruti-built version of the Cervo Mode, which was sold as the Alto until 2002.
  • The HA12 model is produced in India as the Maruti Alto (in a longer and wider form with 796 or 1061 cc engines, with five doors), and this was exported to Europe as the Suzuki Alto from 2002 until 2009. It is also built by Pak Suzuki in Pakistan, and was formerly assembled by Chevrolet in Colombia.
  • The current Alto model is exported from India with a 998 cc engine producing 65 PS (48 kW).

Thus, the European-market models were actually:

  • 1979–1984: SS40 Fronte with a 40 hp (30 kW) 796 cc three-cylinder engine (SS80).
  • 1984–1994: CA/CB91 Alto/Fronte (also referred to as SB308) with the same 40 PS (29 kW) F8B engine as the SS80.
  • 1994–2002: Maruti Zen (based on the Suzuki Cervo Mode), with a 993 cc engine.
  • 2002–2009: Maruti Alto (based on the HA12 Alto), with a 1061 cc engine.
  • 2009–present: Maruti Suzuki A-Star, with a 998 cc engine.

The European market version of the Maruti Suzuki A-Star was unveiled at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. It was developed to be a global car and will be made at Maruti Suzuki's plant in Manesar, Haryana, India. It is stylistically based on the Suzuki A-Star Concept.[39] The Alto was conceived as a response to high petrol prices and global warming. The vehicle's emissions will be only 103g of CO2/km. It will be an eco-friendly car priced from £6,795 OTR.[40] The Maruti Suzuki A-Star is also produced for Nissan, its version is called Nissan Pixo.

The GoGet car share scheme provides 2009 model Suzuki Altos as part of its fleet of share cars in Australia. The locally made versions of the various Altos have had long production lives, and have sometimes won great popularity, as with the Maruti 800. In particular the CA71 generation has been produced in many countries, and can frequently be seen being offered as a cheap city car among several more newly designed products.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Four Million Production of Kosai ALTO". Global Suzuki. 7 August 2001. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Webster, Mark (2002), Assembly: New Zealand Car Production 1921-98, Birkenhead, Auckland, New Zealand: Reed, p. 152, ISBN 0-7900-0846-7 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Suzuki Hatch". Unique Cars and Parts. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Yamaguchi, Jack K. (1980), "Consummation of the Turbulent Decade", in Lösch, Annamaria, World Cars 1980 (Pelham, New York: L'Editrice dell'Automobile LEA/Herald Books): 66–67, ISBN 0-910714-12-6 
  5. ^ "GM ties with two Japanese car makers". Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Tokyo): 1. 18 August 1981. 
  6. ^ Car Graphic: Car Archives Vol. 11, '80s Japanese Cars (in Japanese), Tokyo: Nigensha, 2007, p. 261, ISBN 978-4-544-91018-6 
  7. ^ Nakamura, Takahito, and Piazzi, Filippo (July–September 1984). "Suzuki: Come ti scodello la "Panda 4x4"" [Suzuki: Dishing it out to the Panda 4x4]. In Marin, Gianni. Auto in Fuoristrada (in Italian) (Milan: Rusconi Editore) 3 (7): 55. 
  8. ^ Quattroruote: Tutte le Auto del Mondo 1992. Milano: Editoriale Domus S.p.A. 1992. pp. 974–976. 
  9. ^ "Zotye to Challenge Tata Nano with a $2,765 Alto". ChinaAutoWeb.com. 
  10. ^ "Jiangnan Alto, China's Cheapest Car from Zotye, Beats Tata Nano". ChinaAutoWeb.com. Retrieved 13 January 2010. 
  11. ^ a b "Alto". U's Station on the Net - Short Catalog by Model. Suzuki Motor Corporation. Archived from the original on 13 July 2010. 
  12. ^ "Goo-net Catalog: Suzuki Alto 1991年9月". 'Goo-net'. Archived from the original on 13 July 2010. 
  13. ^ "Goo-net Catalog: Suzuki Alto Hustle". 'Goo-net'. Archived from the original on 13 July 2010. 
  14. ^ a b c Quattroruote: Tutte le Auto del Mondo 1992. Milano: Editoriale Domus S.p.A. 1992. pp. 978–980. 
  15. ^ "Suzuki Alto C pictures 1999". English.auto.vl.ru. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  16. ^ "Suzuki Works pictures 1998". English.auto.vl.ru. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  17. ^ "Suzuki Alto C2 pictures 2001". English.auto.vl.ru. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  18. ^ http://www.pama.org.pk/images/stories/pdf/historical-data.pdf
  19. ^ "Alto HA23S HA23V". U's Station on the Net - Short Catalog by Model. Suzuki Motor Corporation. Archived from the original on 14 July 2010. 
  20. ^ a b "Maruti Alto crosses one million units". Maruti Suzuki India Limited. 14 February 2008. Retrieved 26 January 2009. 
  21. ^ "Maruti's exports cross half a million". The Hindu Business Line. 28 February 2008. Retrieved 26 January 2009. 
  22. ^ "Maruti to decide on another price hike soon: MD". Indian Express. 4 June 1998. Retrieved 26 January 2009. 
  23. ^ "Maruti Alto is India's highest selling car". domain-b.com. 2 November 2006. Retrieved 26 January 2009. 
  24. ^ "The Continental Divide: The Most Popular Cars by Continent". Automotoportal.com. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  25. ^ Maruti Finally Presents Its Alto 800 To Indians News article on Alto 800 India launch by Carazoo
  26. ^ "Alto". Maruti Suzuki India Limited. Retrieved 26 January 2009. [dead link]
  27. ^ "Maruti launches Alto Variant". Financial Express. 9 April 2004. Retrieved 26 January 2009. 
  28. ^ Economic Times (30 July 2010). Maruti Alto K10 Launch
  29. ^ Sen, Sunny. "Honey, I shrunk the price: Maruti triggers price war with new Alto 800. Will it pay off?". Business Today (Living Media India Limited) (2012-11-25). Retrieved 15 November 2012. 
  30. ^ "Maruti Alto 800". 1 November 2012. 
  31. ^ Paul Tan (17 Dec 2009). "JDM Mazda Carol based on Suzuki Alto". Paul Tan.org. 
  32. ^ "New JDM Suzuki Alto Eco Returns up to 32 km/L – 75MPG". 
  33. ^ "スズキ、「アルト エコ」を一部改良し、低燃費33.0km/L(2WD車)を達成". 
  34. ^ "New Nissan Pixo Car Review". Parkers. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  35. ^ "Nissan at the 2008 Paris International Motor Show". Nissan. 12 September 2008. 
  36. ^ "New Nissan Pixo Car Review - Facts & Figures". Parkers. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  37. ^ Chauhan, Chanchal Pal (2014-02-07). "Auto Expo 2014: Maruti Celerio hatchback launched at a starting price of Rs 3.90 lakh". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2014-02-16. 
  38. ^ Mohan, Anand (2014-02-14). "Maruti Celerio: Competition Check". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2014-02-16. 
  39. ^ Tan, Paul. "New Suzuki Alto images released, details to come". Paultan.org. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  40. ^ "Suzuki Alto - The Newest Eco Friendly Car". Motoring-blog.com. 21 August 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 

External links[edit]