Maruti Suzuki A-Star
|Also called||Suzuki Alto Suzuki Celerio Changhe-Suzuki Alto Nissan Pixo|
|Assembly||Manesar, India (Maruti Suzuki) Chongqing, China (Changan Suzuki)|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||5-door hatchback|
|Engine||998 cc (1.0 L) K10B I3 (petrol)|
|Transmission||5-speed manual 4-speed automatic|
|Wheelbase||2,360 mm (92.9 in)|
|Length||3,580 mm (140.9 in)|
|Width||1,680 mm (66.1 in)|
|Height||1,400 mm (55.1 in)|
The Maruti Suzuki A-Star (short for "Alto-Star"), but is also known as the Suzuki Celerio in some other countries. It was launched in December 2008 by Suzuki's Indian subsidiary Maruti Suzuki.
It is actually a different car from the Japanese market one although they share the same name. The car is manufactured exclusively in Haryana, India and is exported worldwide. It is available in some European markets with a somewhat different front end as the Nissan Pixo. The car was rolled out to the Indian customers in December 2008 and exports began in April 2009. The Indian market version comes in three variants - LXi, VXi and ZXi.
The initial expected prices in the Indian market are 3.45 lakh (US$5,520.00) (ex-showroom Delhi) for the LXI, 3.72 lakh (US$5,952.00) for the VXI and 4.06 lakh (US$6,496.00) for the ZXI. With this price tag, the car is targeted at customers with budgets somewhere between the Zen Estilo and the Swift.
With a totally new body and engine, Maruti hopes to bring freshness to the Indian car market, of which it already holds a major share. The 998 cc three-cylinder K10B was developed especially for the new car, and is also used for the Nissan Pixo. Initial reviews have been positive. The A-Star has a fresh new dashboard, with an available unique protruding tachometer besides the usual meter cowl (only in the ZXi trim). Along with the Swift, SX4 and Grand Vitara, the A-Star is part of an effort to change Suzuki/Maruti's reputation into that of being a producer of stylish cars.
- Trim Variants/Engines
The UK has 4 different trims available for the Pixo: N-Tec, Visia, Acenta and Tekna, all available with a 1.0 L Suzuki K10B three-cylinder petrol engine - shared with the Alto and capable of 68 hp (51 kW) and a top speed of 155 km/h (96 mph), reaching 100 km/h in 13.5 seconds. All are five-door hatchbacks, with the option of a 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual gearbox, except the Visia, which is only available with the manual gearbox.
Most early export Altos were technically speaking rebadged Suzuki Frontes, as the Alto nameplate was only used on commercial versions in Japan. These were exported with changes such as enlarged engines, sometimes modified bodywork and various different names. Thus the SS40 Fronte became the SS80 Alto with a 796 cc engine. However, as Suzuki made agreements with companies such as Maruti to build their models, it began to be possible to sell different models to different areas:
- The CA71 model is produced with the 796 cc engine in India as the Maruti 800, in Pakistan by Pak Suzuki as the Mehran 800, and in China by (among others) Chang'an, Jiangbei and Jiangnan. This model, rather than the CL11, was exported to Europe until 1994.
- The CL11 model was built in Korea, Poland, Romania and Uzbekistan as the Daewoo Tico, and in China by Anchi.
- In 1994, the CA71 Alto was replaced in European markets by the Maruti-built version of the Cervo Mode, which was sold as the Alto until 2002.
- The HA12 model is produced in India as the Maruti Alto (in a longer and wider form with 796 or 1061 cc engines, with five doors), and this was exported to Europe as the Suzuki Alto from 2002 until 2009. It is also built by Pak Suzuki in Pakistan, and was formerly assembled by Chevrolet in Colombia.
- The current Alto model is exported from India with a 998 cc engine producing 65 PS (48 kW).
Thus, the European-market models were actually:
- 1979–1984: SS40 Fronte with a 40 hp (30 kW) 796 cc three-cylinder engine (SS80).
- 1984–1994: CA/CB91 Alto/Fronte (also referred to as SB308) with the same 40 PS (29 kW) F8B engine as the SS80.
- 1994–2002: Maruti Zen (based on the Suzuki Cervo Mode), with a 993 cc engine.
- 2002–2009: Maruti Alto (based on the HA12 Alto), with a 1061 cc engine.
- 2009–present: Maruti Suzuki A-Star, with a 998 cc engine.
The European market version of the Maruti Suzuki A-Star was unveiled at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. It was developed to be a global car and will be made at Maruti Suzuki's plant in Manesar, Haryana, India. It is stylistically based on the Suzuki A-Star Concept. The Alto was conceived as a response to high petrol prices and global warming. The vehicle's emissions will be only 103g of CO2/km. It will be an eco-friendly car priced from £6,795 OTR. The Maruti Suzuki A-Star is also produced for Nissan, its version is called Nissan Pixo.
The GoGet car share scheme provides 2009 model Suzuki Altos as part of its fleet of share cars in Australia. The locally made versions of the various Altos have had long production lives, and have sometimes won great popularity, as with the Maruti 800. In particular the CA71 generation has been produced in many countries, and can frequently be seen being offered as a cheap city car among several more newly designed products.