5 Things That Would’ve Made The Altroz Racer Even Racier

  • Jun 18, 2024
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Despite the cosmetic enhancements and an uprated engine underneath the black hood, there’s scope for improvement in a few areas, which would’ve helped justify the word Racer in its name

Tata has just launched the Altroz Racer, which is a sportier version of the standard Altroz hatchback, in India. We have driven it on and off track in Coimbatore and you can read about our first-drive impressions here. But if we were to sum it up in one sentence, we’d say it is more of a ‘GT’ than an outright ‘Racer’, and we have our reasons for it. Read on to find out why we say so:

Sportier looks

There’s no denying the fact that the Altroz Racer looks fast even while standing still. The black hood, the stripes, the side skirts, the roof spoiler – all look the part; look sporty. But Tata could’ve done more here. Given that the Altroz has been soldiering on in the market for nearly four years now, it is due for an update in the form of a facelift.

Tata Altroz Racer

So some LED lighting front and back and some LED DRLs would’ve been surely appreciated. Now, Tata has given the alloys a darker shade, which look cool, but a bigger alloy size or sportier-looking alloys would’ve been more befitting. We specially have a grouse with the brake callipers behind the alloys, which have been left untouched and are calling for some much needed inserts. 

And while you do get dual exhaust tips, they’re hidden and don’t really poke out as the ones in the i20 N Line. Why shy away, Tata? 

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Even inside, the Altroz Racer’s cabin gets orange inserts and stripes on the seats. But the steering design is still the same, which is still okay. But the design of the gear knob truly looks drab. A round metallic knob with a few accents would not only feel nice to hold but also improve the cabin’s overall sporty demeanor.

Small details like this would’ve made the Altroz Racer’s styling more ‘racier’. 

Throatier exhaust

With the new dual exhaust tips, Tata claims to have done things to the exhaust to make it louder, more prominent. And while it is true, the change isn’t significant enough to call the exhaust note exciting. Louder it is, but only from the outside, that too only when you’re really up close. As a result, you can’t really hear anything from behind the wheel, which is a letdown for the enthusiasts that want some pop and bangs from their ‘hot’ hatch.

As a result, you can’t really hear anything from behind the wheel, which is a let down for the enthusiasts that want some pop and bangs from their ‘hot’ hatch.

Optional Automatic Transmission

What came as a surprise for the Altroz Racer was the omission of an automatic transmission. While a manual transmission is always more fun and engaging to drive, especially in a sporty vehicle, the convenience of an auto box is unmatched. Most Altroz Racer owners will likely never see a track, and are likely going to use it in congested traffic-infested urban settings. 

Given that its chief rival, the i20 N Line gets the option of a 7-speed DCT, the Altroz Racer too should’ve offered it. Infact, the Nexon already gets a DCT option with the same engine, so it definitely is possible in the Altroz Racer as well. Because not only would it have made the drive more convenient, but it would’ve also appealed to people who want an automatic. A choice is always nice and we reckon Tata is likely to offer it sometime down the road.

Slicker Manual Transmission

To quote Arun from the first drive review “the gear shifts are light. They are smooth, but they could’ve been a little smoother.”

Despite the manual transmission, the Altroz Racer doesn’t exactly feel engaging in terms of changing gears. The gates could’ve been better defined and it could’ve been slicker. A little work on the Racer’s MT would’ve made the hatchback a proper hoot to drive. 

More oomph

With a claimed 0-100kmph time of 11.33 seconds, the Altroz Racer is surely not racing at any drag strip anytime soon. Despite the +10PS and +30Nm boost in power output from the Nexon-sourced turbo-petrol engine, the Altroz Racer is fast, not quick. 

Driving the Altroz Racer feels effortless, whether you’re in the city or out on the highway. But that being said, the performance isn’t exciting, and isn't exactly worthy of being called an outright racer. If the car had a bit more punch and a 0-100kmph time of sub-10 seconds, then the Racer moniker would’ve been more apt.

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The Altroz always had rather poised underpinnings, which was let down by the previous lacklustre NA petrol. In fact, the 110PS turbo-petrol engine didn’t help its case either. That has changed with the Altroz Racer, but we still can’t help but lament over these small things. While a few of these might be sorted down the line, most of these could’ve been easily implemented at launch. Because as it stands, the Altroz Racer is no ‘Racer’ – but it is a damn good GT, which has the potential to truly live up to its name.

Tata Altroz Racer Video Review

Tata Altroz Racer
Tata Altroz Racer
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