Suzuki Alto (2009): first photos

Published: 08 August 2008

These are the first pictures of the new Suzuki Alto, a city car with looks inspired by the funky A-Star concept. The new Alto will be unveiled at the Paris motor show this autumn and promises to be both clean and frugal. And if the Swift is anything to go by the Suzuki Alto should be a cracking drive too, plus prices should start at under £7k when the it goes on sale in early 2009. What more could you want?

So the A-Star has influenced the new Alto?

Absolutely. Of course the devil is in the detail, so the concept car’s fancy lights and pink trim (thank goodness) have disappeared. But the large front grille and subtly bulging wheelarches remain.

Other details are still scant, but when Suzuki unveiled the A-Star late last year CAR discovered the Alto would be powered by an all-new Euro 5-compliant 1.0-litre aluminium petrol engine that’s mated to a five-speed manual. Apparently this combination means an ultra-low 107g/km CO2 rating and exceptional fuel economy.

A diesel is also on the cards. Suzuki currently builds a 1.3-litre diesel but the 1.0-litre petrol is cleaner and greener so the company is developing a new 1.1-litre unit for Europe.

The Alto will be produced in India, with annual production expected to reach 960,000 units by 2010. Just 100,000 of those will reach the Europe, while most of the rest are destined for the burgeoning Indian market. The factory itself is a joint-venture between Suzuki and local car maker Maruti Udyog Limited. Together the two have formed Maruti Suzuki India Limited.

Anything else interesting at Paris?

Suzuki will also debut two new eco-friendly concepts. The first is the SX4 FCV, running a GM-made fuel-cell, while the second has a much simpler fuel-cell system, with a performance boost coming from a lithium-ion battery pack.

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy