It’s a face that can launch a thousand sighs. The Tata Altroz premium hatchback, which was launched in January 2020, has to be the ‘hatchback of the year’ (if there were any such category). However, it did miss out on certain things—the petrol engine was underpowered, and there was no automatic gearbox option. Tata Motors has at least addressed the former concern, by adding a turbocharger to the existing 1199cc, three-cylinder petrol engine. Called the Altroz iTurbo, it is also a ‘connected car’. We drive it in and around Delhi.
Design, it is argued, is the biggest purchase decision for car buyers in India. The Altroz iTurbo looks futuristic, to say the least. A new shade of blue is available in variants XM+ upwards, and contrast black roof option in XZ and XZ+ variants. The colour scheme inside the cabin has also been mildly changed, in shades of black and grey.
The cabin is well-crafted, and especially the steering wheel is a delight to look at and hold. Doors open a wide 90-degree, so getting in and out is easy. The rear seating area has a flat floor, so three adults can be comfortable out there. There is no sunroof, however.
An interesting design element is a line that goes down and kicks up, between the front fender and the A-pillar—it looks overly similar to one on the BMW i3 electric car.
It now produces 110 PS power and 140Nm torque (up from 86 PS and 113Nm, respectively, of naturally-aspirated engine). While the engine is noisy, little of that enters the cabin. The acceleration is good—in my rough calculation, the Altroz iTurbo did 0-100 km/h sprint in a little over 10 seconds (in the Sport mode; yes there is one). However, as far as acceleration through the gears is concerned—say, from 30-70 km/h in third gear—it doesn’t appear ‘exciting’ enough. One of the reasons could be that the power delivery, and therefore acceleration, is quite linear. The claimed fuel efficiency is 18.13 km/l.
The Altroz, however, still doesn’t have an automatic gearbox.
The Altroz iTurbo is a connected car, and the technology behind that is called the iRA (Intelligent Real time Assist), using which you can give the car remote commands and even check its location remotely via the iRA app—it’s available only in top-end XZ+ variant. The voice command feature inside the car appears to well understand Indian accents.
With a more powerful engine, new colours and refreshed cabin, as well as connected car features, we believe the Altroz iTurbo will be at least Rs 50,000 more expensive than the Altroz petrol. It will be available only in XT, XZ and the new XZ+ variants. So expect a starting price of a little over Rs 7.5 lakh.
Engine: 1199cc i-Turbo petrol
Power: 110 PS (108 bhp)
Torque: 140 Nm
Fuel efficiency: 18.13 km/l
Gearbox: 5-speed manual
Fuel tank: 37 litres
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