The country's largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki India, is planning to launch a new version of its small car, Alto, the highest selling model in India, with a bigger engine.
According to industry sources, the company plans to launch the new Alto with a one-litre petrol engine from its latest generation of engine, the K-series. When contacted, Maruti Suzuki India Chairman R C Bhargava said: “Alto needs a face-lift. It has been there for quite a while.”
He, however, declined to comment on when a refreshed Alto would be launched and what kind of engine would be fitted on the new version.
Last month, MSI had introduced a BS-IV compliant Alto on the existing 800cc F- Series engine.
Sources said the company had decided to equip the Alto with a 1,000cc K-series engine.
"With a bigger K-series engine, the new Alto will obviously be costlier than the existing Alto," a source said.
The existing Alto is priced between Rs 2.29 lakh and Rs 2.8 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The Alto is the best selling car model in India, averaging about 20,000 units per month. It has sold about 135,000 units since its launch in September 2000.
The plan to launch Alto with a new engine is part of MSI's strategy to equip its models with the latest generation K-series engine.
Maruti Suzuki offers two variants of the K-series engines — 998cc three-cylinder, 'K10B' fitted in A-star, Estilo, and the new WagonR and a 1.2-litre, four-cylinder 'K12M' petrol engine powering Ritz, Swift and Swift Dzire.
In April, MSI crossed the milestone of rolling out 300,000 K-Series engines. The company has a total engine capacity of 1 million units annually, of which the share of K-series engines is 250,000 units.