Maruti Suzuki certain to launch automatic Ritz AT hatchback to check the emergence of freshly launched Honda Brio AT

Friday 09 November 2012, 09:59 AM by

Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL), the country's favourite passenger car maker, has put the initial pictures of an automatic variant of its much popular 'Tall Boy' Ritz hatch on the car's official website. Accordingly, the company seems to be working on the media build up and promotional campaign as it gets closer towards the launch of its Ritz AT compact soon in Indian auto market. Top industry experts have pinned the Ritz AT launch to be a direct retaliation against the freshly launched Honda Brio AT, which has garnered significant respect and adulation, when it comes to automatic hatchbacks currently marketed in Indian auto market.

Maruti Suzuki certain to launch automatic Ritz AT hatchback to check the emergence of freshly launched Honda Brio AT |
Maruti Suzuki certain to launch automatic Ritz AT hatchback

At present, the Indian car market has three prominent automatic hatchback options in the forms of Honda Brio AT, Hyundai i10 AT and Maruti Suzuki A-Star AT. The yet-to-be launched Ritz AT is anticipated to carry the same automatic gearbox derived from its little sibling A-Star. The launch of Honda Brio AT in the middle of festivities has helped Honda Cars India Limited (HCIL) is wrapping up decent sales in the Indian market, which is also pegged as upcoming Ritz's most stiff rival.

Coming to the build structure, Ritz AT scores better points than Brio AT in terms of interior cabin space, legroom and headroom due to its 'Tall Boy' design. On the other hand, Honda Brio AT is the clear winner in overall visual appeal and 'Wow' factor as compared to Maruti Suzuki's Ritz AT. Evidently, the Ritz's prospective clientele seems more like the average small family Indian audience, while Brio is certain to lure away the younger domestic car enthusiasts.

Coming to under-the-hood specifications, the Honda Brio AT comes fitted with a Single Over Head Cam Shaft (SOHC), i-VTEC 1.2 litre power-mill, which churns out a peak power and torque delivery around 86.2 bhp and 109 Nm, respectively. Further, the engine assembly is mated to a first-in-class five speed automatic transmission system that enables the driver of Brio AT to glide past city traffic hassle free, especially those who commute on a routine basis.

The yet-to-be launched Maruti Suzuki Ritz AT is anticipated to be launched in both petrol and diesel run variants in the Indian market. The petrol Ritz AT is expected to incorporate a 1.2 litre, 1197 cc, K-Series powertrain that rolls out a peak power and torque equation of 84 bhp and 113 Nm, respectively. Further, the diesel Ritz AT is believed to be come assimilated with a 1.3 litre, 1248 cc, DDiS power-mill, which churns out a maximum power of 74 bhp and peak torque of 190 Nm. Hence, considering the power and performance ratings, no clear winner comes out between Honda Brio AT and Maruti Suzuki Ritz AT.

The real difference is expected to come in pricing devised by the two auto giants. Honda has introduced two automatic models – Brio S Option AT and Brio V AT in the Indian passenger car market. The Brio S Option AT and Brio V AT carry a retail price tags close to Rs. 5.8 lacs and Rs. 6 lacs, respectively, which are about Rs. 75,000 more expensive than their manual siblings. The Maruti Suzuki Ritz AT pricing is expected to be a little more tasteful and compliant with the Indian consumers, besides the availability of petrol and diesel models could prove to be a decisive factor in its favour.

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