The budget automobile segment was defined by Maruti Suzuki in the early 1980s and it seems that the auto giant is set to redefine it. The Alto K10 has been a very good example for the budget small-car and the Alto K20 will look to go one step further. The Alto K20 will be a budget hatchback with AMT, the newest fad which potential customers judge their cars by. AMT transmission will be fairly common by the time the Alto K20 launches in India and around the world. We expect decent performance, good fuel economy, promising handling and a price to match up with its competitors on the new car. The Alto K20 will be a bigger sibling of the Maruti Suzuki Alto 800.
Alto K20 Engine and Transmission
The new Marutui Suzuki Alto K20 will look to capitalise on the momentum that has been generated by the sales of the Alto K10. The peppy K-next engine designed by Suzuki will power the car. The K-next engine is a 3-cylinder 998cc engine with inline cylinder configuration. The engine features increased compression from 11.0 to 12.0 for more thermal efficiency, reduced frictional losses, exhaust gas recirculation, engine auto-start-stop and increased mileage. The new engine will look for an improvement over the existing K10 engine with 68 horsepower at 6000 RPM and 90 Nm torque at 3500 RPM. The K20 will have an increased fuel efficiency of more than 24.07 km/l for both manual and AMT variant when driving in the city. The Alto K20 will be a front-wheel drive (FWD) vehicle with manual transmission and 5 gears. That is not to say that an AMT transmission is out of the question. A premium segment car could well be launched. The new hatchback will boast of a fuel tank capacity of 35 litres ensuring longer drives. Premium segment variations could ship with alloy wheels. The front suspension will be Gas-filled McPherson Strut while the rear suspension is the 3-link Rigid Axle Suspension. The manufacturer will look to improve the K20’s weight to power ratio by combining carbon-fibre elements in the design phase.
Alto K20 Features
The Maruti Suzuki Alto K20 will feature halogen headlights, front fog lights, rear-windshield wash and wiper, rear defogger, power steering, power windows for all the windows and cruise control. We expect ORVMs or Outside Rear-View Mirrors with internal manual adjustment. Safety features on the Alto K20 will include airbags for the front passengers, central locking system and child-locking system, with ABS-EBD braking system and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) for better traction. Other standard features will include an audible Key in reminder, twin power outlets in both front and rear, a remote fuel filler, a central console cup holder feature, a rear parcel shelf, variable intermittent windscreen wipers and keyless entry options. The interiors are comfortable with good leg space and improved cabin size. We expect a built-in touchscreen infotainment system which can assist in all manners of entertainment. Adjustable Headrests, Cup Holders, Door Pockets and seat back pockets, a 12v Power Outlet and other similar perks to make this car very family and child-friendly. A seatbelt reminder feature with a driver’s belt warning lamp feature is present. Maruti Suzuki’s proprietary i-CATS Anti-theft Alarm system will be carried over to the next K20 as well.
The front digital display will boast of an impressive infotainment system. Other features will include a trip distance indicator, a digital clock, low fuel warning, tachometer and a very convenient gear shift indicator.
The Main Differentiator: The Gearbox
The 5-speed AMT gearbox is called ‘Auto Gear Shift’ or AGS by Maruti Suzuki. It has an actuator mounted on top of the conventional gearbox which, with the help of electronic sensors, shifts the gear and spares the trouble of moderating the clutch pedal. The main benefit of the AGS is the option of switching to ‘Manual’, making gear-shifts driver-dependent. Even in that scenario, clutch action is taken care of by the actuator and the sensors. In real-world driving scenarios, the gearbox almost always gets the gear shifts right, making it a hassle-free driving experience. The AGS only adds an extra 5 kilos to the total weight and has no impact on fuel economy.
Alto K20 Price
The Maruti Suzuki Alto K20 will come for an ex-showroom price of Rs. 4.50 lakhs for the version with the AGS. It will go up against the likes of the Datsun GO D1, the Chevrolet Spark 1.0 and the Renault Kwid RXL. One of the biggest competitors to the Alto K20 is its own cousin, the Celerio AMT. The Celerio is more expensive, however, at Rs. 5.30 lakhs. The new car may also be exported to other major markets like Africa and South Asian countries once it is launched. The new car will look to create quite a splash when it launches given that the Datsun offering is doing pretty well in the Indian market. Expected colours include white, gray, tango orange and blue.