Tata Altroz gets 1.2-litre turbo-petrol engine, IRA connected tech

by Mayank Dhingra 13 Jan 2021

Tata Motors, which is riding a wave of demand for its passenger vehicles, today unveiled a new turbo-petrol engine option in its premium hatchback – Tata Altroz. The car which completes one year of being available in the market since January 2020, has now been equipped with a 1.2-litre three-cylinder, turbo-petrol engine, in addition to the 1.2-litre, 86bhp naturally-aspirated petrol motor and the 1.5-litre 89bhp diesel.

Christened ‘iTurbo’ (i for Intelligent), the BS VI-compliant petrol engine develops 109bhp at 5500rpm and 140Nm of peak torque between 1500 and 5000rpm. The engine has been mated to a five-speed manual gearbox and claims 18.13kpl on the Indian Driving Cycle. While Tata Motors is believed to be also working on a DCT drivetrain to go along with the turbo-petrol engine, the company didn’t make any official announcement on it as yet.

The new engine produces 28 percent more power and 24 percent more torque compared to its natural-aspirated counterpart, and is claimed to offer much superior performance as the overall weight of the hatchback remains almost similar. As a result, the company hasn’t made any major changes to the other mechanical elements of the car such as the suspension, steering or brakes.

Where the regular Altroz gets ‘Eco’ and ‘City’ driving modes as standard, the Altroz iTurbo will come with the City and a new ‘Sport’ driving mode as the new engine mapping options on the updated car.

Connected and upmarket
While the Altroz iTurbo looks exactly similar to the regular Altroz, Tata Motors has given some differentiating elements to the variant to enhance its appeal with customers. The car gets leatherette seats as well as a new black-and-light-grey dual-tone interior layout.

The company has also introduced a new Harbour Blue paint shade in all variants upwards of XM+ trim of the Altroz and equipped the car with its intelligent real-time assist (iRA) smart connect application that offers 27 connected car features with up to five layers of connectivity. The system gets natural voice recognition technology through which the car understands and processes voice commands not only in English, Hindi but also in a combination of ‘Hinglish’.

The smartphone-based iRA connectivity tool also offers remote vehicle functionalities such as remote lock, unlock, stolen vehicle tracking, geo-fencing and summoning road-side assistance. The company has also updated the navigation option in the Altroz with maps from ‘What 3 Words’.

What 3 Words is a technology that has assigned each 3m square in the world a unique three-word address. They are easy to say, share and are accurate too. 

Gaining volumes
Tata Motors has so far sold close to 45,000 Altroz hatchbacks in the ongoing financial year, with the car raking strong numbers in October and November 2020 when it had sold 6,730 units and 6,260 units, respectively. The Altroz became the best-selling Tata Motors car in October when it had even surpassed sales of the popular Nexon crossover as well. The company had a strong calendar year 2020, closing December with a strong 84 percent year-on-year uptick in sales volumes.

Despite the slowdown due to Covid, these numbers have been encouraging for the Indian car manufacturer which is wooing customers for its value-for-money and high-on-safety offerings in the passenger car space.

While the naturally-aspirated 1.2-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine is not known to be particularly engaging to drive, especially compared to the more fun-to-drive options like the Hyundai i20 and Maruti Suzuki Baleno, but the company is looking to attract the enthusiasts with the new offering.

According to Vivek Srivatsa, head of marketing, Passenger Cars, Tata Motors, “The premium hatchback segment is a very exciting space and there is possibility to push more in terms of driving dynamics. There is a market within this segment where people prefer to enjoy more power and better driving dynamics. So, we aim to tap into this customer groupby introducing the turbo-petrol in the Altroz.”

“We believe the iTurbo could add around 10 percent to the sales of the Altroz as it satisfies a different kind of need of our customers,” Srivatsa added.

The new Altroz iTurbo will be available in the higher XT, XZ and new XZ+ variants and while Tata Motors has only officially unveiled the AltroziTurbo, the company will announce prices on January 22. Bookings, however, have commenced and test-drive vehicles have started reaching its showrooms across the country.




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