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Spy shot: Next Maruti A-Star spotted testing in India EDIT: Its the Celerio

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Maruti Suzuki teases Celerio, highlights its EZ Drive transmission:

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In today's leading newspapers can be seen the teaser shots of Maruti Suzuki's upcoming latest hatchback, Celerio which is intended to replace Estilo, A-star & to fight with rivals like Hyundai Grand i10(probably).

Highlighted bits include;

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Interiors shots:

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EZ Drive Automatic gearshifter

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Swift, DZire based Multi-function steering wheel with dedicated audio controls, Bluetooth telephony controls & SRS Airbag(on top-end ZXi variant probably)

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USB/Aux-In/CD/MP3/FM compatible music system with Bluetooth telephony connectivity

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235 litres of boot space

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(Pics source: Indianautosblog.com)

Maruti Suzuki has also launched the dedicated website to Celerio i.e http://www.marutisuzuki.com/celerio/.

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ACI Exclusive: Maruti Suzuki Celerio EZ Drive, first drive

A new small car from Maruti is always big news. What makes it even more interesting is that the Indo-Japanese company has a habit of delivering blockbusters every now and then. And that's exactly what the Celerio looks like, a winning proposition; and here's why.

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The Celerio is a fairly tall hatchback and Suzuki engineers have used vertical space well to maximise head and legroom. The single-piece front seats offer far more support than their slender frame would have you expect, clearly progress has been made in making these slim line seats comfy. There's more space at the rear than you'd expect too, the Celerio feels as roomy as the Brio in the back. The seat is pretty comfortable too, with good support for your back.

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The Celerio comes with an updated version of the Wagon R’s K10 three-cylinder, 1.0-litre engine.

Anyone familiar with the standard K10 will immediately notice the big improvement over the old unit - Maruti has really done a good job here. There’s decent power at low engine speeds, the motor is responsive at slow speeds and the engine’s quiet enough till 3000rpm too. Some of the credit for this also goes to the noise absorbing insulation on the firewall between the engine and passenger compartment.

Performance is better than expected. We did a quick test and were surprised; 0-100kph for the manual comes up in 14.9 seconds, which is quick in comparison to cars in its class.

For those who want to do away with the bother of modulating the clutch altogether, the big news is that the Celerio will be available with an automatic gearbox, which Maruti calls the 'EZ Drive' variant. While there's no clutch and you select 'D' for drive before you set off, it’s not an automatic gearbox in the traditional sense. It does not use a torque converter but rather relies on an electronic control unit that manages hydraulic actuators to control clutch engagement and gearshifts. What's amazing is that the basic five-speed gearbox is shared with the manual, and that keeps costs low as well. This setup is known to be more efficient than traditional automatics but does lack the torque build-up of a torque-converter auto.

In full automatic mode the Celerio auto performs satisfactorily. In traffic, upshifts are executed in a timely manner and downshifts are pretty acceptable too. You can also shift gears manually in M-mode; you push the lever forward for a downshift and pull back for an upshift, in a BMW-like manner. While this is unconventional, you soon get used to it, and using the gearbox in manual mode is quite nice. The box will even hold on to your choice of gear in manual.

This low-cost, high efficiency solution, however, isn't slick in the manner it operates under load. Here, shifts feel slow, the gearbox takes its time, and downshifts also tend to produce a bit of a lurch. Our performance test for the automatic version resulted in a 15.4 second 0-100kph, which isn't bad, all things considered.

More than performance, Maruti wants to market the Celerio automatic for its fuel economy. In fact, its 23.1kpl ARAI-tested figure equals that for the manual Celerio and significantly betters most of its manual-only competition.

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Coming to equipment, the Celerio will be offered in three variants, each with varying levels of features. Air-conditioning and power steering are standard on the base LXi, while the VXi model gets a rear parcel shelf, power windows, central locking and internally adjustable rear view mirrors, in addition. The top-spec ZXi is visually distinguishable by its alloy wheels and body-coloured door handles. In its ZXi avatar, the Celerio also gets an integrated audio player with USB, aux-in and Bluetooth for telephone and audio streaming functions, steering controls for the audio system, electrically adjustable outside rear view mirrors, tilt-adjustable steering, a driver’s side airbag, rear wash/wipe and a rear defogger. Interestingly, ABS and a front passenger airbag are available only as an optional package on the ZXi and have to be purchased separately.

Read more at: http://www.autocarin...e-370596,0.aspx

(Source: with excerpts from Autocar India article).

Edited by dr_nishu

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Very beautiful car in terms of performance and looks. However, Maurti being mean in terms of safety atleast; I was expecting that Vxi and above will have ABS, AIR BAG and other saftey featues.

Automatic will be a new hot cake and will compete will elder sister Swift and same sigment revials.

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Everything seems to indicate another small car success for Maruti.

However, it's disappointing to see top end variant Zxi not being offered with EZ drive option.

Also, top end doesn't have passenger side airbag and ABS as standard, available only as an option.

So this basically means customer either chooses safety or convenience of an auto, but not both.

As per Maruti, the reason for not providing fully loaded top end variant with EZ drive option is to keep cost low as customer dishing out that much money is likely to move towards cars of next segment (base/mid level variants).

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Frankly , these omissions are besides me.

Why cant we have them all , is it merely to keep cost low that this is being done.

I fail to understand what does a clutch system has to do with ABS or Airbags , how are the two interfering with each other to warrant us to choose.

Money is the key.

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Just curious, which one is the better automatic car (brio/i10/ritz/swift/clero/AStar ) . Objective 1-Cost,2- Safety 3-Fuel average, 4-maintenance, 5-spare parts availability, 6-Car's resale value.

Mine hypothetical answer is Celeo if had safety features by default, so looking from your advice to narrow down a complete car.

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Overall, a nice package. People should not get disappointed by the fact that EZ drive option is not available top end Zxi. Who does offer auto option in hatch segment? i think no one.

Also, on safety features not fully available in Zxi, i think it is strategy to keep price low, but personally, I would have liked to see fully loaded manual Zxi with all safety kit.

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@monoclonal

A-Star was the cheapest AT but as it stands to be decomissioned soon , the Celerio is the next best economical option.

The old i10 stands bang in the middle and was a slightly better , the Grand i10 is surely leaps forward in its design.

=

BRIO AT , the only Five speed Auto, in this category is the best option but it costs a bomb but anyday is as good as it gets in this segment.

Personally , Brio AT would have been my pick before the Grand i10 AT was launched .

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