Maruti all set to launch automatic small car Celerio

Maruti Suzuki is all set to launch the Celerio, a small car with an affordable automatic transmission, which is also frugal on fuel consumption with an ARAI-certified mileage of over 23 kmph under test conditions.

Suzuki A-WindThe B-segment car from the Maruti Suzuki stable, due to be unveiled next month, will replace the A-Star globally while it would be sold alongside Estillo in India.

The Celerio will take on B-segment peers such as the Hyundai Grand and i10 and the Nissan Micra.

However, its forte will be affordable automatic transmission and fuel economy - the main concerns of the car user.

Celero actually has a manual gearbox with a hydraulic actuator installed on top, but it achieves automatic transmission with the help of an electronic control unit (ECU), which includes a transmission control unit (TCU) that directs the hydraulic actuator to engage the clutch and shift the gear based on the acceleration and at the optimum engine rpm level.

But driving the Celerio will be like driving any conventional automatic. There is no clutch pedal and the gear knob is just as it is in a regular automatic, except for the mild shift felt on changing the gears.

This ensures the automatic version delivers as much mileage as the 5-speed manual transmission variant.

The Celerio, which features a tall-boy design with a short bonnet, has been built on a completely new platform and will only be offered with a petrol engine - the K10B engine, which is currently used in the Alto K10, Wagon-R and A-Star.

The 998cc, 3-cylinder, K10B engine produces 68 PS of peak power at 6,000 rpm, and peak torque of 90 Nm at 3,500 rpm.

Celerio's auto-shift hatchback segment is likely to be priced at a Rs3 lakh to Rs5 lakh plus range.

Hatchback Celerio's rear design is simple but contemporary while the cabin and dashboard layout gives it a modern, upmarket look.

While the weight has been kept within 830 kg, Maruti Suzuki has succeeded in optimising the car's aerodynamism.

The engine has also been tuned to reduce frictional losses.