The Altroz is the first model to be built on the Tata’s all-new ALFA (for Agile, Light, Flexible, Advanced) architecture. Along with OMEGA arc (that underpins the Harrier), the ALFA arc will form the basis of a slew of new Tatas in the time to come. The modular architecture can support a whole range of body styles ranging from 3.7m to 4.3m in length, and has been developed with electrification in mind. Doors that open 90 degrees and a flat rear floor are some of the features that will be common to cars, SUVs and MPVs built on ALFA arc.
The shark nose-like front end, the sleek grille finished in black, and the large and swept-back headlights that are lined by a band of chrome give the Altroz its distinctive face. Some might see the arrangement as a modern interpretation of the original Indica’s ‘smiling grille’, but Tata designers certainly didn’t mention that as an inspiration. High-set fog lamps lso home to the LED DRLs) and an elegant air dam on the bumper are other elements of interest up front. The upswept windows come underlined by a black embellishment that starts thick at the front and tapers towards the rear, in effect, giving the illusion of a car with a sporty tipped-forward stance.
The Altroz will be available in four trims, and the range starts with the XE that gets the safety basics such as ABS with EBD, dual airbags, reverse parking sensor and central locking. Drive modes and manual air-conditioning are also part of the package. The XM-spec Altroz adds in power windows, a 3.5-inch infotainment system from Harman, power-adjust and folding mirrors and ambient lighting at the footwell. The XT trim adds in more goodies by way of a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, 7.0-inch digital MID screen, LED DRLs, push- button start, a reverse camera, cruise control and start-stop tech on the petrols. Range-topping Altroz XZ versions go the distance with 16-inch laser-cut alloy wheels, projector headlamps, auto climate control, auto lights, rain-sensing wipers, ambient lighting, and front and rear armrests. A contrast roof is a paid option on the XZ cars.
The Altroz seems to be bit of a work in progress is when talking of the petrol engine. The Altroz’s petrol engine is essentially an updated version of the Tigor’s 1.2-litre, three-cylinder unit. There’s dual variable valve timing and the compression ratio has also been bumped up. Resultantly, power is up to 86hp while max torque is 113Nm. A light clutch makes the Altroz easy to live with in town, but again, the 5-speed gearbox isn’t the slickest in the business. Quickshifts aren’t it’s thing. The 1.2 engine doesn’t have much to give at the top end and revving the engine only draws your attention to the thrum from the three-cylinder engine. Auto start-stop also has the petrol engine come to life with a bit of a judder.
The diesel Altroz that feels like the more complete package. The 1.5-litre, four-cylinder diesel is from the Nexon albeit in a lower 90hp and 200Nm state of tune. The power downgrade was primarily to make the engine compatible with the 5-speed gearbox’s lower torque rating. But not that you’d feel any lack of power. The diesel engine can feel a bit hesitant in on-off throttle driving, typical of our towns, but it’s quick to settle into a rhythm too. The build up of power is linear from low down in the rev range, and there’s a mild step up closer to 1,800rpm. You’ll like the easy access to power and the comfort with which the 1,150kg Altroz diesel gets to cruising speeds.
Tata Altroz Price: The new Tata Altroz is expected to be priced between Rs 5.29- 9.29 lakh