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Alto set for a makeover this year

New Delhi, January 25, 2019 : The India's most popular small car Alto is set for a complete makeover as Maruti Suzuki is modernising the mini vehicle with a new BS6 engine, enhanced safety features, exterior and interior upgrades. The new car will be out by the end of this year, company officials said.

Introduced around 2000, Alto has been the country’s best-selling car for 14 straight years (starting from 2004) before losing the crown to its bigger sibling Dzire last year. The car replaced Maruti 800 as the company’s entry-level model and has sold more than 35 lakh units so far.

Maruti MD Kenichi Ayukawa said the current Alto “has become older, and we have to upgrade”. Alto comes with two petrol engine options - original 800cc, and the more powerful 1,000cc (K10), which was launched a few years ago.

Company officials said “heavy changes” will be made in Alto’s design in view of growing competition in the hatchback segment from models such as Renault Kwid, which has ‘SUV-like’ design. In terms of safety, the new model will be more secure and comply with the latest crash test norms.

Whereas pricing will be announced at the launch, sources said the effort will be to maintain the price line and keep it closer to the existing line-up. Alto sold 2.56 lakh units last year, compared to 2.57 lakh in 2017.

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