Suzuki has announced some upgrades for its diminutive Alto city car.
Chief among these is the addition of Dual Variable Valve Timing for the 996 cc, three-cylinder engine. Although its power output is unchanged at 67 bhp (50 kW / 68 PS), carbon dioxide emissions have fallen by 4 g/km.
Such a tiny reduction might seem insignificant, but it means that the manual transmission Alto now emits 99 g/km of CO2. For UK buyers, that’s an important figure because - for the first time - the small Suzuki will qualify for zero Vehicle Excise Duty and a 100% discount on the London Congestion Charge.
The VVT system also benefits fuel consumption, albeit very slightly: combined cycle economy is now 65.7 mpg (4.3 l/100km), whereas before it was 64.2 mpg (4.4 l/100km). It’s also claimed that throttle response and flexibility have been improved, although both the 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time of 13.5 seconds and the 96 mph (155 km/h) top speed remain the same.
Other changes for the 2012 model year are minor, and include some new wheel trims, updated seat fabrics and the availability of a metallic grey paint finish. UK prices for the 99 g/km Alto range start from £6,995.
Similar enhancements to the virtually identical Nissan Pixo, which is manufactured alongside the Alto in India by Maruti Suzuki, were confirmed just before last month’s Geneva Motor Show.
Related posts:Suzuki Swift AttitudeTop 10: Low insurance carsTop 10: Efficient petrol cars