The fifth and smallest member of its acclaimed line-up of world strategic models, the new Alto combines eye-catching style and easy urban mobility with great performance in terms of fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions.
"Alto is the answer for people wanting a quality vehicle offering great performance, high levels of safety and outstanding fuel economy," said Suzuki Australia General Manager Tony Devers "Alto meets the lifestyle needs of today's motorists and the pressing global need for environmental compatibility. It will also be one of the most fun-to-drive cars available and a great example of Suzuki's Way of Life! philosophy".
Devers said the new Suzuki Alto would put a quality, environmentally friendly car within reach of all customers for the first time.
"Alto will represent the essence of the Suzuki commitment of offering outstanding value for money. Suzuki has long been a pioneer in the automotive industry, and the new Alto is pioneering a new sub-light car for Australia".
As the second model in the second phase of Suzuki's world strategy, the new Alto offers high levels of comfort and convenience in a design that combines sporty, European-inspired looks with great aerodynamics.
The new Alto reflects the unparalleled knowledge of small-cars that has made Suzuki so successful with mini-vehicles in Japan and compact cars like the Swift all over the world.
Manufactured in Suzuki’s Manesar plant in India, the Alto was designed by Suzuki engineers and tuned for European customers based on an extensive test drive program.
The new Alto is aimed mainly at urban people who want a small car that offers style and enjoyment together with great environmental credentials.
At the heart of the concept for the new Alto is Suzuki's belief that people should be able to enjoy economical, eco-friendly motoring without sacrificing style, comfort, practicality, or performance.
Compact dimensions (the new Alto is the smallest of Suzuki's world strategic models) play a large part in realizing outstanding environmental credentials by keeping weight to a minimum, but without detracting from user-friendliness.
The new Alto has a sporty, solid look that exudes urban energy despite the body's compact dimensions. The design is elegant thanks to aerodynamically efficient contours that combine tautness with evocative curviness.
Designed for the global market, a low drag coefficient of just 0.30 promotes outstanding fuel efficiency and low CO2 emissions.
The cabin layout apportions most of the space to the front seats but still provides ample space for four adults with numerous handy storage spaces for small items located throughout the cabin.
Notwithstanding the new Alto's compact exterior dimensions, there's a usable amount of luggage space behind the rear seats, and folding down the rear seatback expands the space into a roomy luggage area suited to daily use.
The new Alto has an overall length of 3,500mm, width of 1,600mm, height of 1,470mm and a wheelbase of 2,360mm and is powered by a three cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engine producing peak power output of 50kW with a maximum torque of 90Nm.
The Euro IV-compliant engine delivers fuel consumption of just 4.5L/100km and produces only 103g/km of CO2 emissions. Standard transmission is five-speed manual, while a four-speed automatic transmission will be available as an option.
Front suspension is of MacPherson strut type and the large, high-rigidity suspension frame is complemented by further strengthening in the strut mounting areas for superior handling. The rear suspension has Suzuki's proprietary 3-link rigid axle design, and incorporates numerous refinements for the new car. The coil springs and dampers were tuned for optimum handling stability through extensive testing on roads in Europe.
Suzuki targeted handling that makes driving enjoyable on urban roads, so drivers enjoy linear response, gentle roll movements, light steering feel, and good absorption of shock and vibration.
The new Alto has a minimum turning radius of just 4.5m making it easy to manoeuvre and park in tight spaces.
To help the driver avoid hazards on the road, the new Alto will be available with Electronic Stability Program, which modulates the engine performance and applies the brakes during cornering and under acceleration.
In the unfortunate event of an accident, the new Alto's body reflects Suzuki's Total Effective Control Technology (TECT) concept in the form of crushable structures that absorb impact energy, frame members that disperse impact energy away from occupants and a strong cabin structure.
Use of high-tensile steel for major body parts means the resulting high level of occupant safety does not add excessive weight to the body.
SRS front, side, and curtain airbags are available to reduce the severity of impacts suffered by occupants in the event of a collision. Energy-absorbing trim materials provide further head protection.
Devers said the Australian version of Alto would go on sale in the second quarter of 2009. Pricing and final specification will be released closer to launch.