With the fuel prices pointing skywards and the electric revolution gaining traction at the same time, the future of ICE-powered cars is looking a little bleak. In such times, manufacturers are banking on turbo petrol mills and chances are, they might be the last hoorah to petrol-powered madness. Coming to the car in focus now, Tata recently bestowed the Altroz with a turbo-petrol mill and has made the Altroz even more desirable than before. The folks over at Tata Motors have christened it as Altroz iTurbo.
Although the prices are yet to be announced, we have already driven the Altroz iTurbo to bring you all the answers.
Engine and performance
Tell us on how many instances have you used the word ‘Sporty’ while talking about a Tata car? Not many we assume? Exactly. Because Tata’s cars have always been sturdy, spacious and even feature-loaded, but not sporty! That is now set to change with the new Altroz iTurbo. The Tata Altroz upon launch was powered by a set of 2 engines – a 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder, naturally aspirated petrol engine that puts out 85HP of peak power and 113Nm of peak torque. Also on offer is a 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder turbo-diesel engine which belts out 89HP of peak power and 200 Nm of peak torque. The Altroz iTurbo has gained a new 1.2-litre turbo-petrol mill which churns out 110bhp of maximum power as well as 140nm of torque.
The 140nm of torque is delivered in between 1500 and 5500 rpm. One good look at the numbers and you would realize that it is a very wide band. The torque spread makes the Altroz iTurbo’s performance all the more useable. It has a very strong mid-range and the sense of acceleration makes its presence actually felt. The engine comes into its own once the tacho needle crosses the 3000 rpm mark. It then pulls cleanly until it hits the rev limiter which is set at around 5500 rpm. The efforts that Tata has put in developing the engine are surely laudable but the unit could have been a little smoother as it becomes slightly gruff once the needle crosses the 3500 rpm mark.
Talking about some more numbers, the Altroz iTurbo is claimed to accelerate from zero to 100 kmph in under 12 seconds. It is responsible for delivering an overall fuel-efficiency of 18.13 kmpl. The gearbox is a 5-speed unit and the shifts are reasonably smooth. We would have preferred a 6-speed unit.
It was being speculated that Tata Motors will also equip the Altroz iTurbo with a DCT unit but that couldn’t make the cut, yet. Talking about what we do have, the 5-speed manual unit provides optimum gearshifts but the feel isn’t segment-leading.
Ride and handling
The Altroz has always been a capable handler and that hasn’t changed with the iTurbo either. If a car wants to please an enthusiast, it ought to have something more than just a potent engine. For a car to be lively, it ought to have a communicative steering and a taut suspension setup. Thankfully, the Altroz iTurbo has both. The steering isn’t dead, like some of its rivals and is involving. The suspension is a little on the firmer side but becomes pliant once the speeds rise up. It is capable enough to absorb the undulations in the required manner at higher speeds. There’s a slight body roll when you start pushing it but it still manages to hold its line pretty well.
For an enthusiast, the sport mode is highly recommended from our end. In the sport mode, the Altroz iTurbo pleases the God of Wheels in the same manner you expect it to. The cabin too, is insulated in a desired manner and keeps you cocooned inside, saving you from all the external noisy elements.
Apart from the new powertrain, it has also received a new Harbour Blue paintjob. The Altroz iTurbo is also available in Downtown Red, Avenue White, High Street Gold and Midtown Grey options. On the inside, it has gained a light grey theme (black and grey) and a Sport mode, which accompanies the City. Some of the key features are push-button engine start & stop with smart key, cruise control, and iRA (Intelligent Real-time Assist). IRA comes with Natural Voice Tech enabling more than 70 commands in Hindi, English and Hinglish, alongside idle start-stop technology, a seven-inch floating touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, perforated leather upholstery, automatic headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, anti-glare IRVM, automatic climate control, cornering stability control, etc.
It also gets ‘what 3 words’ which is a technology that has assigned each 3m square in the world a unique 3-word address. They are easy to say, share and are accurate too. The Altroz iTurbo also benefits from 2 additional tweeters from Harman.
The prices are yet to be announced but we believe that it is going to hover in the INR 6.5 Lakh – 9 Lakh range. The Altroz iTurbo makes a strong case for itself. It is high on creature comforts while also boasting of a very potent engine. We do hope that in near future, Tata Motors also introduces a DCT variant of the same. The Altroz iTurbo looks the part too, especially in its exclusive ‘Harbor Blue’ shade. And when it comes to safety as well, it has scored 5 stars in ASEAN NCAP crash test. All in all, it is pretty much evident that Tata Motors has another winner at their hands.