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Part of our duty as automobile journalists is to recommend people their next car. Everyday we get plenty of queries and interest for automatic variants through our comments box and contact form.

Tata Vista EV mirror image

[This is not the Vista AT, its a mirror image of the Vista EV, the drive selector module looks application-ready on the AT variant!]

This explains India’s slow shift towards torque convertors, CVTs and dual-clutch gearboxes.

So is India finally catching up with the global trend of preferring automatics over the traditional manuals?

Buying options are numerous if you are in the market for a petrol AT. Right from hatchbacks to big SUVs, you get automatics throughout the range. But ask just for a diesel automatic car, and the cheapest option is the Hyundai Verna that’s well over 10 lakh rupees.

And if you are in the market for a diesel automatic hatchback, well, there aren’t any (if you don’t count the Laura and the Superb as hatchbacks, as they technically are). So you may have the purchasing power, but you can’t be catered to.

That maybe about to change!

According to our sources, Tata Motors wants to be India’s first automaker to bring out an affordable diesel automatic car. The company is burning the midnight oil with diesel AT technology, with the UV’s given first preference. When we spoke to Mr. Ashesh Dhar in Chennai earlier this month, he said the Storme AT is a definite possibility.

Tata Motors is working closely with ZF transmissions and Jaguar to develop an automatic variant of the Tata Aria. We saw the initial outcome at the 2012 New Delhi Auto Expo in the form of the Aria AT Concept. It had a 6-speed AT featuring Tiptronic gear selection. It came with three driving options – Sport, Economy and Cruise.

Its a long shot for this 6-speed AT box transcending into smaller vehicles such as the Vista and the Manza. If it has to, then Tata Motors need to localize the box fully or the ‘affordability’ factor gets robbed completely.

Considering Tata Motors is very keen on bringing a diesel automatic hatchback at an affordable price point (our little birdie tells us), we think that the automaker will develop a smaller 5-speed box exclusively for B segment models such as the Vista and Manza.

We hope Tata Motors opts to develop a dual clutch box and not a torque converter or CVT because of the numerous benefits that a double clutch setup offers. Ford India has proven that double clutch boxes need not be an exclusive D segment feature. A cheaper and reliable double clutch is a reality. Now, Tata Motors just needs to bring the technology on diesel hatchbacks and get the first mover benefits.

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About Me

They say sooner or later your passion finds you. Sometime in late 2009, I started writing for IAB and ever since then it has been a roller coaster ride for me. An amazing experience that has taught me a lot, taken me to new places, driven some great cars and met some amazing people. When you don't find me on IAB (very rarely), you will find me either at a coffee shop or an eatery or at the nearest gadget store. Hope you enjoy IAB as much as we do!

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  • rohan

    what a day it has been..first the D90 with such lovelu gizmos and nw the news of AT for a diesel and that too vista..pray to TATA get a AT for D90..ill b the 1st one to buy..!!!

  • Joe Xavier

    Gr8 news and a good one. Hope and pray this news is true. I am in the market to but an AT small car like Brio/Ritz or I10. They all are quite expensive. I was wishing Tata to come out with an AT Vista/ Manza. The gr8 news is that it going to be a Diesel AT. Congratulations TATa Motors… the question is will it ever come within a reasonable time??

  • Amala Singh

    Looking to change the 2005 Alto being driven by my wife. Any idea if Hyundai will be launching Eon Automatic or Maruti will be launching Estilo/WagonR/Alto800 Automatic. No,I don’t like the A Star. i 10/Brio Automatic is too expensive. Prefer Estilo or Eon Automatic. Look froward to your suggestion.

  • sri

    Good Move from Tata but this blue shades or even any such undesirable colour options would make the customers to have concern over these !!