Maruti Suzuki announced just today that it has released an updated version of its best selling entry hatchback. The Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 has been improved to now meet the upcoming safety norms, ahead of the October deadline. The Alto K10 now comes with a driver side airbag as standard (it was previously optional across all variants), ABS or anti-lock brakes and EBD or electronic brake force distribution. The car also gets a reverse parking sensor, driver and front passenger seatbelt reminder alerts, and a speed alert. Prices for the Alto K10 range have gone by approximately ₹ 25,000 across all variants. But here is the reason for such a steep hike. Unlike what has been reported, carandbike has exclusively learnt that the safety update also includes changes to the car's chassis and body shell.
This now allows the Alto K10 to also meet crash norms which call for body integrity (for frontal crashes at 56 kmph). The work has been carried out in-house at Maruti Suzuki's own R&D centre at Rohtak. The idea was to make the entire current range ready to meet the impending safety regulations. It may be recalled the off late the company's relatively newer models like the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and Ignis have also focussed on being crash-ready.
The chassis and body shell have received changes to meet the new safety regulations
Two crucial things that we simply must also highlight here. The Alto 800 will also receive the same equipment and similar structural changes soon. So unlike what was previously believed, the Alto 800 and Alto K10 are not being phased out just yet. Having said that the cars will need a generation change next year - when they also need to transition to BS6 or Bharat Stage VI fuel norms. That is when the cars will also begin their transition to a whole new generation. After all the current Alto has been nothing more than small and big updates on the original Alto that was first introduced way back in September 2000.
The Alto K10 was first introduced in August 2010, and has also since received major upgrades. The move towards a safer package as mandated by the upcoming safety regulations though, is a first for the cars. The next generation Alto will be based on the same platform as the Maruti Suzuki Concept Future S that was shown at the 2018 Auto Expo. That concept is set to spawn not only the next-gen Alto and Alto K10, but also an as yet unnamed subcompact micro SUV. That car will no doubt rival Tata's similar SUV based on its H2X concept shown at Geneva this year, as well as the Mahindra KUV100. Of course that new family of vehicles will also be crash and emission ready - to meet not just the norms kicking in next year, but also have the provision to go further.
The new updated Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 meanwhile sees prices now starting at ₹ 3.65 lakh, and topping off at ₹ 4.44 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). Prices in the rest of the country begin at ₹ 3.75 lakh.
Also Read: Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Updated With More Safety Features