06 August 2008

Alto, you’re A-Star

Suzuki gets ready to unveil bug-eyed new city car in Paris

Suzuki Alto

The Suzuki Alto, a tiny Japanese kei car, is resolutely uncool. The Suzuki A-Star, a small car concept we saw at the start of this year, was surprisingly cool.

So it was probably inevitable that the new Alto, based on the A-Star concept and set to be unveiled at the Paris Auto Show in October, falls staunchly between 'cool' and 'uncool'.

The Alto will slot beneath the Swift and the Splash in Suzuki's European line-up, and will be built in India by Maruti, Suzuki's subcontinental partner.

Technical details are thin on the ground, but we're expecting the Alto to be powered by a one-litre aluminium petrol engine producing less than 109g/km of CO2. It should be cheap, though - prices should start at around seven grand.

Suzuki is expecting to sell almost a million Altos a year. That's a bold claim, but given its hot run of form with small cars at the moment - we're huge fans of the Swift, and have already been impressed by the Splash - we're not betting against them.

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