The Maruti Suzuki A-Star (Suzuki Alto to our overseas readers) was given minor upgrades in India earlier this year that saw the introduction of 60:40 split rear seats and beige interior.
Sales of the A-Star has not been impressive and as we explained in a previous article, the numbers have fallen to sub-1,000 units/month levels for two consecutive months.
The Wagon R, which is in the same segment as the A-Star is one of the best selling Marutis clocking between 10-15k units a month.
The legendary Alto, a synonym for city car in Asia for the last thirty years, is made for the world in India. That's right, the Manesar factory in North India is the only point of manufacture for the A-Star which is sold globally as the Alto, Celerio and as a Nissan Pixo in the UK. Since exports began in January 2009, over 300,000 units of the made-in-India Suzuki Alto have been sold in over 100 countries.
It is fitted with a three-cylinder 1-liter K-Series petrol engine producing 68PS/90Nm, driven either through a four-speed AT or five-speed MT. If Suzuki is planning to upgrade the engine, they may want to add variable valve timing which they have done so on the bigger 1.2-liter engine powering the Swift.
It was launched at the Paris Motor Show in 2008 and if you remember, the concept A-Star was presented at the Delhi Auto Expo in January of 2008. It is not wrong to say that the Suzuki Alto/A-Star took shape in India.
As times have changed in the last four years, Suzuki is now seen working on a facelift for the Alto.
The interiors are very similar to the outgoing model and may use a slightly different color combination. Several Chinese websites are carrying images of the taped-up prototypes testing around China for a week now. We saw this one coming as Suzuki Australia was reported in the media for expecting an upgraded Alto later this year.
Here's a roundup of the changes the new Alto sports after we studied the spyshots with magnifying lenses. Our digital artist Shoeb R Kalania has also presented the changes in a rendering attached above.
- The Alto facelift now makes it look like part of the global Suzuki family
- The earlier one's huge grill and the protruding headlamps made the car look sad. The changes are sure to make the customers give it a second thought.
- Many customers turned away from the Alto due to its different look.
Cosmetic changes on the Suzuki Alto facelift
- New sleek pulled-back headlamps.
- Face grill with a nice chunky Suzuki logo.
- New bumper design with revamped air vents and fog lamp housing.
- Tail-lamps are detailed differently but remain similar to the current one's form.
- Rear bumpers get vents like the ones seen on the facelifted Ritz (Splash to overseas readers) Suzuki announced earlier this month for Japan.
Can we expect Suzuki to premiere the Alto facelift at this year's Paris Auto Show?
[Spyshot credit - Autohome.com.cn]