By : RACHNA TYAGI
Driving the Altroz iTurbo, the latest offering from Tata Motors, to mark one year of the Altroz, revealed two things: A) This car is PHAT (Pretty Hot and Tempting), and B) There is a sea change happening at Tata Motors in the way they’re now engineering and designing their cars which only augurs well for customers. So, rivals, (read Hyundai i20 and VW Polo TSI) watch out! There’s some serious competition headed your way!
Based on the ALFA (Agile Light Flexible Advanced) architecture, the Altroz iTurbo, looks just like the Altroz from the outside, barring the iTurbo badging that it gets which lets you know that that this is a different car. (If you opt for either the XZ or XZ+ variant, you also get a contrasting black roof.) Not to mention the new colour, Harbour Blue, which has been introduced and which looks stunning at night, when it takes on a beautiful sheen and glistens dramatically, especially under the city’s yellow streetlights.
On the inside, the Altroz iTurbo gets light grey and beige interiors which really liven up the car’s cabin. What you also get are light grey leatherette seats with a self-design pattern and prominent white stitching that looks good. The seats, we noted, are not too soft which is a good thing and everything in terms of fit and finish looks taut and well executed.
What the car also gets is the Xpress Cool feature, which allows the cabin to cool 70% faster and that, we felt was something that would come in handy especially on those days when the car has been parked in the sweltering heat and the insides have turned into a blast furnace!
The best part about the Altroz iTurbo, besides the engine, which we will get to in a minute, is the fabulous infotainment system. Not only are the graphics clear and sharp but it also comes with smartphone connectivity for Apple Carplay and Android Auto. The Altroz iTurbo which comes with Harman sound system gets two additional tweeters that just take the entire acoustic experience to a whole different level. This is the kind of car that makes you want to roll down the windows with loud music blaring from the speakers while you tear down the streets with your friends. (We absolutely do not recommend this kind of driving.) All you speed addicts and audiophiles, this IS your car because no other hot hatch out there is capable of so much combined fun!
The Altroz iTurbo also boasts iRA Tech – (Intelligent Realtime Assist) a connected car technology by Tata Motors which offers more than 27 features that gives you information pertaining to things such as your vehicle diagnostics or your vehicle immobilizer instantly. Besides, it also understands bi-lingual Hindi and English (Hinglish) commands. The car also gets the ‘What 3 Words’ technology which using a unique combination of words, takes you to the desired address in a precise manner!
One thing’s for sure – the Altroz iTurbo engine is definitely packing some heat! It comes with a 1.2-liter Revotron (petrol) engine that has been mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox which puts out 110 PS@ 5500 rpm and 140 Nm@ 1500-5500 rpm. Once you’re behind the wheel you realize in no time that this indigenously developed Revotron engine has been optimally tuned to deliver the extra 25-30% power and torque whenever required, offering not just brilliant driving performance but also very good fuel economy of 18.13 kmpl.
On switching to the Altroz iTurbo’s Sport mode a short announcement, on the car’s system, let us know that the Sport mode had been activated and while this mode also doubled the fun factor, what with 0-100 in less than 12 seconds, we did have one eye constantly monitoring the fuel indicator just to make sure that the car wasn’t a gas guzzler. Suffice to say, that we weren’t disappointed. The Altroz iTurbo is a light and nippy car that will thrill you with its brilliant ride and sharp handling thanks to the minor tweaks that have been carried out on the steering which has now been tuned slightly differently as well as the suspension settings, making the ride quality simply outstanding.
This car just swallows potholes like an ogre would swallow humans, and what you get is a super comfortable ride without the slightest body roll. We put this car through different roads, in the city, on the highways and also through some treacherous hairpin bends and not once did we experience the slightest dip in power at any point in time and that is saying a lot about its engineering.
The gear shifts were slick and a special mention has to be made about the brakes which have more than enough bite to ensure that both, you and your car, don’t go flying and land in some not-so-nice places. Clearly, the days of the old heavy cars from Tata Motors stables are a thing of the past and the now belongs the new light, zippy, fun to drive cars that are peppier and which also do not compromise on safety while also ensuring that you don’t break the bank.
Being big on safety with a 5-Star rating from Global NCAP, Tata Motors, have ensured that they have left no stone unturned to introduce a brilliant, well-rounded and well-finished product that is also big on design, features, torque and power. And since it is a Tata product, we can even rest assured about the price which will not come as a shock! So, all of you out there who are planning on buying a hot hatch, wait for the price reveal on January 22nd, 2021, before you book yours. Meanwhile, you could just dash off to the nearest Tata dealerships and get a test drive of this dynamic car and if after driving it, if you do decide to buy one, don’t forget, you read all about it here first.