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Old 20th January 2021, 10:00   #1
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Default Tata Altroz 1.2L Turbo-Petrol Review

Tata Altroz 1.2L Turbo-Petrol Review


Tata Altroz Pros:



• Turbo-petrol is vastly superior to the NA petrol. Altroz finally gets the petrol engine it deserves
• 1.2T offers good driveability & satisfactory performance
• Looks absolutely stunning! Solid build too
• Nice interior with good quality parts & adequate space
• Accommodating 345-litre boot is among the biggest of the segment
• Mature on-road behaviour, including at highway speeds
• 5-star NCAP safety rating! Safety package includes dual airbags, CSC, rest break reminder etc.
• Enjoyable Harman 8-speaker ICE. One of the better audio systems in this segment
• Impressive kit (auto headlamps & wipers, cruise control, leatherette seats, adjustable armrest...)

Tata Altroz Cons:



• Not a hot hatch! Performance is fair, but not explosive like the Polo TSI. 0-100 in 11.9 seconds
• Max revs of merely 5,500 rpm! That's way too low for a petrol
• The Altroz turbo-petrol inexplicably makes 9 BHP & 30 Nm lesser than the Nexon!!!
• No automatic gearbox option in a market that loves its ATs
• Suspension has a firm edge at low speeds (16" rim variants). Bad roads will bother you
• Service visit every 6 months / 7,500 km (1 year / 10,000 km is the norm today)
• Some missing features (auto-dimming IRVM, full size spare tyre on top trims, split-folding rear seat...)
• Tata's after-sales service quality is a hit or miss. Remains a gamble
• Concerns over niggles in a freshly-baked Tata product

Tata Altroz Full Review



Because the Tata Altroz has been fully reviewed by Team-BHP, this report will only focus on the 1.2L turbo-petrol variant.

Full Review

1.5L Turbo-Diesel's Review



We frankly feel terrible for those who bought the Altroz NA petrol because this turbo-petrol is vastly superior! There is simply no comparison. This is the engine that the Altroz should have been launched with in the first place. It is smooth, peppy and has good drivability. The 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol produces 109 BHP and 140 Nm, which is 24 BHP and 27 Nm more than the naturally-aspirated version. It comes with a 5-speed manual gearbox and gets a "sport mode" too. That said, in the Nexon, this same motor produces 9 BHP and 30 Nm more. We disagree with Tata giving the Altroz 1.2L turbo-petrol a lower state of tune than the Nexon. The Altroz is a premium “gold standard” hatchback and should’ve gotten the same engine tune + 6-speed gearbox as the Nexon.

Unfortunately, there is no AT variant (yet) with this turbo-petrol. Wish Tata would understand that it is very, very important to offer all the right engines & transmissions at launch itself - related article by GTO. We don’t know why Tata does this. The Altroz diesel was delayed, this turbo-petrol arrives late and there's no AT in a market sharply moving to ATs. Tata now genuinely has a hatchback that can fight with the segment leaders from Maruti & Hyundai, but it's not gotten the right ammunition at the right time.

For customers who are picking the Altroz, it will be a tough choice between this turbo-petrol and the very impressive 1.5L turbo-diesel. We expect the turbo-petrol to be priced within an arm's length of the turbo-diesel. Both are good engines. This turbo-petrol is smooth and quick enough, but even the turbo-diesel is peppy, with far greater efficiency.

Tata Altroz 1.2L Turbo-Petrol Review in the City


Turbo-petrol is vastly superior to the weak 1.2L NA engine. Still, think of it as a competent petrol hatchback, but not a fast or hot one:


• Sit in the driver's seat and you'll not notice any difference compared to the naturally-aspirated version immediately. There are a few changes in the cabin though.

• Startup and shutdown are smooth. Like the other variants of the Altroz, you get an engine start / stop button.

• You’ll appreciate the soft clutch pedal. It is very light to operate. On the downside, the pedal's travel range is on the longer side & it will bother you in traffic. There's a very usable dead pedal to rest your foot:


• Even the gear lever is positioned at an extremely comfortable height. It’s a level higher than is usually the case, which makes matters user-friendly. You don’t need to put your hand “down” to access it. The gear shifter is alright to use, but its throws are longer than we would like in a modern hatchback. It also has a bit of a notchy side to it. Not as slick as a Japanese or Korean gearbox:


• In the city, the turbo-petrol has very good driveability. You won’t be using the gearbox excessively. It even cleared our 2nd gear speed breaker test easily. There is very little turbo lag. Throttle response is satisfactory and the car has no problem picking up speed from low revs. The healthy bottom-end makes the turbo-petrol Altroz an easy car to drive in the city.

• The motor starts coming into its element above 2,000 rpm. But make no mistake, power is not as explosive as we have seen with some other turbo-petrols. It's nowhere as enthusiastic as the Polo's 1.0 TSI. Here, the focus is more on drivability and practicality, while providing adequate performance.

• This is a very smooth engine, even as the rpm needle climbs high. As you approach 4,000 rpm, enthusiasts will love the engine note. GTO loved the sound.

• Tata has provided a “Sport” mode for those who desire better performance. Engage it when you are in the mood for fun and on the highway. The engine is noticeably meatier in sport mode (delivers 25% more torque) with sharper throttle response. There is more than enough pep to have fun (combined of course, with the Altroz's splendid high speed manners).

• Unlike the NA petrol or Nexon, the Altroz turbo-petrol does not come with an “Eco” mode. It’s only the City & Sport driving modes that are provided. The car always starts in City mode, which is the default.

• Just like the NA petrol, the turbo-petrol is equipped with an idling start/stop system, which switches off the engine when it's idling to save fuel. The system works much more seamlessly compared to some other cars I have been in. While on the topic of fuel efficiency, the turbo-petrol has an ARAI certified rating of 18.13 km/l.

• The electric power steering is quite light at parking / low speeds which makes the Altroz very easy to drive.

• NVH levels are overall satisfactory. However, in the mid revs, when you are climbing from 2,000 - 3,000 rpm, there was some weird drivetrain vibration felt in the cabin. This was at or about the 2,400 rpm mark. As the revvs climbed, it disappeared. This vibration was especially felt in 3rd gear. Tata should not have these kind of rough edges showing in such important cars. We recall even the Altroz Diesel having some gaps in power delivery due to fuel mapping issues. It is important to iron out all such creases before launching a product.

Tata Altroz 1.2L Turbo Petrol Review on the Highway


• Let's get one thing out of the way. The Altroz 1.2T is not a hot hatch on the open road, like the Polo 1.0 TSI is. That said, power delivery is more than adequate and you will enjoy driving this hatchback on the expressway. The turbo-petrol engine is smooth & sounds nice at high rpm. Enthusiasts will love the engine note. What's more, the Altroz has simply fantastic road manners & composure at triple digit speeds.

• Turbo lag is well-controlled. Heck, even while overtaking slow moving trucks while going uphill on the Lonavala ghat, it did not bother us.

• Floor the accelerator on the open road and this car feels noticeably faster than the NA petrol. At speeds where the weak NA petrol feels wheezy & is running out of breath, the Altroz turbo-petrol will still be accelerating nicely.

• Unfortunately, this engine isn't a high-revving unit. The 1.2T revs to ~5,700 rpm momentarily before settling down at 5,500 rpm. That is way too low IMHO. This restricted 5,500 rpm does limit the fun you can have with the car, and can also catch you out in the middle of an overtaking manouveur where extra revs always help.

• It's fun to stretch her legs on the open road. Interestingly, cross 4,900 - 5,000 rpm and you'll feel a distinct, very noticeable tug from the engine. Almost like Honda's Vtec mode!!! But it doesn’t last long as you hit 5,500 rpm shortly after.

• The Altroz turbo-petrol cruises effortlessly on the highway. 100 km/h in 5th gear is seen at ~2,300 rpm, while 120 km/h is seen at ~2,800 rpm. High speed stability is very impressive and you can calmly cruise at 120 km/h all day long. Solid, planted & confidence-inspiring is how I'd describe it. The steering also weighs up well at speed. Must say that Tata tunes its EPS better than HPS (hydraulic).

• While highway performance is more than adequate, I will say again that the Nexon’s additional BHP & torque would have made this car special, the natural enthusiast’s choice. In a premium hatchback, you just expect something more special & I wish Tata went all out with the Altroz. After all, when you have the ammunition ready, why not use it? Furthermore, having 118 BHP would be an excellent differentiator over the Marutis & Hyundais of the world. Tata needs to differentiate & stand out from the crowd. You can’t leave your guns at home when you head out to fight.

• Excellent, mature suspension. At expressway speeds, the Altroz feels very “big car-like”. At low city speeds, the suspension is firm & that will bother you on broken roads. But as the speedometer needle climbs, the Altroz rides f-l-a-t. It’s impressively composed on the highway. Recovery from road dips & undulations is splendid too.

• The brakes are progressive and do the job as expected. They have cornering stability control too (Tata says "CSC supports / stabilizes the vehicle during partial braking in curves by reducing pressure at the required inner wheel. This helps to reduce the probability of vehicle oversteer during cornering + braking"). From high speeds, the car stops in a straight line sans any drama.

• It sure feels good to be cruising at 120 km/h in a car that carries a 5-star safety rating. Just makes you feel that much more confident. If you drive primarily on expressways, keep the Altroz as a top choice because of the excellent high speed manners & safe build.

• Many BHPians will be cross-shopping the Altroz with the Nexon & it’s a tricky choice. The Nexon has more power, but the Altroz looks better (Nexon is too funky for my tastes). The Nexon is a taller car, but the Altroz has a ride quality advantage (Nexon is too stiff).

This new Harbour Blue colour is available on the XM+ and higher variants of the Altroz. Contrast black roof option is available on the XZ and XZ+:


To differentiate the 1.2L Turbo variant from the NA petrol, Tata has given it an iTurbo badge (i stands for intelligent):


While the cabin design is carried over from the 2020 Altroz, all variants will be available now with a sporty black + light grey interior theme:


Instrument cluster is shared with the NA petrol. Both needles climb up faster though


Sport mode is shown in red. Use "sport" on the highway and when you're in the mood for fun, as it makes a noticeable difference to performance:


Doorpad is the same, but the driver's window now gets one-touch up convenience:


XZ+ variant gets perforated leatherette upholstery. The quality of material is good by segment standards:


Zooming in on Tata's tri-arrow seat pattern & white contrast stitching:


XZ+ variant gets an 'Xpress Cool' feature, which helps the climate control cool the cabin upto 70% quicker by running the A/C on full blast. It's a premium car feature that comes real handy if you return to a car parked under the sun. Xpress Cool button is to the left of the A/C switch:


Button to engage Sport mode is located just behind the gear lever:


Harman-developed ConnectNext infotainment system with a 7-inch floating touchscreen head-unit is now available on all variants from the XM+ upwards. The system comes with Natural Voice Tech via which, it understands more than 70 voice commands in Hindi, English & Hinglish. Another cool function - you can set a personalized wallpaper and sticker on the screen:


The wallpaper appears momentarily when you start the system:


The sticker appears if you don't touch the system for a while. It will disappear the moment you use any function related to the infotainment system. Works similarly to a screensaver:


The Altroz comes with What 3 Words navigation. In this, each 3m square in the world has been assigned a unique 3 word address. You can either type in these words or use voice commands to set a particular destination on the navigation system (Google Maps via Android Auto / Apple CarPlay):


Additionally, the system gets iRA (Intelligent Real time Assist) connected technology. The iRA App offers 27 features with 5 layers of connectivity including remote commands, vehicle security, location based services, gamification and live vehicle diagnostics:


The iRA app lets you remotely lock / unlock the car, operate the headlights + horn and check the DTE. It also gives you a diagnostic report with critical alerts and a list of Tata Motors service stations in the area:


Other functions include find my car, stolen vehicle tracking, remote immobilisation, emergency SMS, geo fencing, time fencing alert, valet mode, roadside assistance, share location, social tribes, trip details and driving score:


The ICE can also be synced with the ConnectNext App, which shows you the status of the vehicle, lets you set the wallpaper + sticker on the infotainment screen and set a destination through What 3 Words:


XZ and XZ+ variants of the turbo-petrol get 2 additional tweeters (making it 4 speakers and 4 tweeters in all). These are housed on the rear doors, next to the door handle:


A look at the rear seat draped in leatherette upholstery:


1,199cc, 3-cylinder turbo-petrol engine produces 109 BHP & 140 Nm. More muscle than the weak 1.2L NA for sure. The engine bay looks messy and could surely do with an engine cover:


Turbocharger sits right at the front:

Last edited by GTO : 26th January 2021 at 09:46.
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Old 20th January 2021, 10:00   #2
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Reviews section. Thanks for sharing, Aditya!

I enjoyed driving the Altroz Turbo-Petrol with you. This is the petrol engine that the Altroz should've launched with originally. As always, if you wait for a year, you get a far superior Tata product (we saw the same with the Harrier). I liked the petrol's driveability too, just wish it got the full horsepower treatment like the Nexon.

The Altroz finally has a turbo-petrol & turbo-diesel range that it deserves. It's now become one of the top choices for anyone looking at a premium hatchback. Let's get the ATs to the market soon, Tata.

Pic from our Lonavla drive:
Tata Altroz 1.2L Turbo-Petrol Review-20210116-09.35.58.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 20th January 2021 at 10:01.
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Old 20th January 2021, 10:18   #3
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Default Re: Tata Altroz 1.2L Turbo-Petrol Review

Sad to see that the Altroz is not as enthusiastic as the Polo. I really wonder what a remap can do to this car. Will the 5 speed gearbox accomodate a remap? Can we tune this car to the 120HP Nexon's state of tune?


Opinion: I've seen a video of the Altroz on YouTube. This ad was released during the IPL. I wonder why Tata didn't choose to paint the mirrors in the same shade of the car instead of painting it black. Painting it in black hides the swanky design of the mirrors.
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Tata Altroz 1.2L Turbo-Petrol Review-screenshot_2021012010144930_7a4090f09f6554852d748ee9fd6f40d3.jpg  

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Old 20th January 2021, 10:21   #4
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Default Re: Tata Altroz 1.2L Turbo-Petrol Review

At last The Altroz gets a worthy engine. And as Mr Aditya said , they should have given us 118 bhp. Would have made the Altroz a bit more desirable .

TATA has been killing it lately . Hopefully they get more recognition for their new products.

Last edited by Eshan Joshi : 20th January 2021 at 10:34.
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Old 20th January 2021, 10:23   #5
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Default Re: Tata Altroz 1.2L Turbo-Petrol Review

Wow, I think TATA has managed this transition very well. From being a mediocre design stable to dishing out designs like the Altroz, TATA has come a long way. I think we need to get away with this line for all TATA cars - 'Tata's after-sales service quality is a hit or miss. Remains a gamble', it's rather suited to the Hyundais and Kias now. Although not perfect, it has become reliable to a decent extent. Also, this car looks superior to the i20 in more ways than expected. Will have to wait and see how the nos. play out. Well done TATA.
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Old 20th January 2021, 10:48   #6
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Default Re: Tata Altroz 1.2L Turbo-Petrol Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
[center][h2]
• No automatic gearbox option in a market that loves its ATs
I remember seeing this comment in our reviews from 2014 / 2015 for D Segment cars. (Nostalgia, combined with feeling old ).

Just look at how the Indian market has matured in terms of automatics and safety!
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Old 20th January 2021, 10:49   #7
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Default Re: Tata Altroz 1.2L Turbo-Petrol Review

Excellent review. This engine should now be the default choice of the Altroz Petrol buyers, provided that Tata Motors price it sensibly and don't commit Hyundai like blunders(i20).

As far as I remember, this engine is a Port Injected one which translates to almost no cleaning requirement of the valves. I would choose this over the Polo just because this one is a fresh product, and should be cheaper to maintain in the long term.

Also can't help it but did you guys noticed that the intake air design is similar to that of the diesel's. This turbo petrol gets exhaust manifold cover which the N/A petrol doesn't. And i would like to ask mods if this engine gets the insulation under the hood or not?

Tata Altroz 1.2L Turbo-Petrol Review-collage.jpg

EDIT: Just found out from Faisal Khan's review that it does get insulation under the hood. Also, there is a cutout that mods pointed out in NA petrol version.

Tata Altroz 1.2L Turbo-Petrol Review-altroz.png

Tata Altroz 1.2L Turbo-Petrol Review-2020tataaltroz04.jpg

Credits- Faisal Khan.

Regards,
Abhishek.

Last edited by abhi9044 : 20th January 2021 at 10:58.
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Old 20th January 2021, 10:51   #8
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Default Re: Tata Altroz 1.2L Turbo-Petrol Review

WOW! great update. Altroz got the engine it deserves.

Hope the DCT version will be a true hot hatch with more torque to play with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aditya View Post

Tata Altroz 1.2L Turbo-Petrol Review


The Tata Altroz 1.2L Turbo-Petrol will go on sale shortly.

Tata Altroz Pros:


• 5-star NCAP safety rating! Safety package includes dual airbags, CSC, break reminder etc.
Typo as well as something is missing

Cheers!
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Old 20th January 2021, 10:57   #9
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Default Re: Tata Altroz 1.2L Turbo-Petrol Review

Tata seems to be catching up, and in some cases surpassing the standards set by other manufacturers. Makes me wonder:
1. Why no AT yet? TML probably doesn't have the expertise to develop one in-house, but they can certainly source a good GB from Aisin or some other reputed manufacturer. I don't understand this bone-headedness on their part, especially on the products (Altroz, Nexon) that have the highest potential.
2. I understand the lower tune for some efficiency gains. But I hope Tata at least launches a Sport + variant.

Last edited by landcruiser123 : 20th January 2021 at 10:59.
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Old 20th January 2021, 11:11   #10
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Default Re: Tata Altroz 1.2L Turbo-Petrol Review

Great review there! Excellent wrap on all the features.

I agree with what Aditya and GTO have to say.

Tata Altroz iTurbo should have come with the Nexon's Power figures. But then again, I read somewhere that the 5 speed gearbox was the limiting factor and hence the lower BHP and Torque figures.

Now, as much as I love Tata, this is disheartening to see. You launch the Turbo model late to the party and even then limit it's bells and whistles for some meddling gearbox??? And then you still don't come up with a DCT out of the box?

Who was stopping them to integrate this to a better 6 speed manual gearbox during this 12 months time? And why not the DCT right away? Will that gearbox atleast unleash better power and Torque figures???

Being a Tata fan is often so frustrating where on one hand you know they are putting their heart out, bringing the Best Designs, the best Ride and Handling packages, Safety and other features to prominence and on the other hand, they limit themselves by not launching their best versions on Day One!!

It's like that most talented kid in class who limits himself and is content playing second fiddle.

Please Wake up Tata! Just give that DCT already and allow the gearbox to unleash better Torque atleast!

For all of Altroz Turbo's virtues, I am still astounded that Tara's premium follow up Hot Hatch to the Tiago JTP is 2 secs slower to 100!
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Old 20th January 2021, 11:13   #11
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Default Re: Tata Altroz 1.2L Turbo-Petrol Review

Having driven Honda's i-Vtec and Ford's 1.6 Duratec, I know how low-end torque can really transform a car within the city. While there is a definite fun factor when the Vtec kicks in, inside the city we hardly ever get to rev that high and truly enjoy it. The feeling of riding a torque wave is always a much more enjoyable experience when driving inside city limits. Though the torque wave is a small ripple in this case (why Tata, why? ) it should still make for a far more lively experience than any other NA petrol from the segment.
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Old 20th January 2021, 11:14   #12
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Default Re: Tata Altroz 1.2L Turbo-Petrol Review

The Altroz finally gets the engine it deserved from the beginning . Good to know it is fun to drive too. Much better than the outdated Polo and overpriced i20 hands down. But I will never understand Tata's strategy of delayed updates to products. They skimped on the DCT with the Turbo-petrol here too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saikishor View Post
I wonder why Tata didn't choose to paint the mirrors in the same shade of the car instead of painting it black. Painting it in black hides the swanky design of the mirrors.
You can get the single-tone variant if you want the mirrors to be of same color as the body. Personally, I think a Contrasting glossy black roof+black rear view mirrors greatly enhance the visual appeal, be it any car.
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Old 20th January 2021, 11:36   #13
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Default Re: Tata Altroz 1.2L Turbo-Petrol Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by saikishor View Post
Sad to see that the Altroz is not as enthusiastic as the Polo.
Think of the Altroz turbo-petrol as a good all-rounded petrol hatchback and you'll be happy. See it as a hot hatch and you'll be disappointed. Even Hyundai's 1.0 turbo petrol is more fun, while the Polo's 1.0 TSI is at a different level altogether.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raghu M View Post
Wow, I think TATA has managed this transition very well. From being a mediocre design stable to dishing out designs like the Altroz, TATA has come a long way.
I would disagree. While they are at the top of their design game right now, even the Indica / Safari / Sumo / Sierra / Manza etc. were very good lookers for their time. "Looks" has always been a Tata plus point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by myavu View Post
Typo as well as something is missing
Not a typo. It is indeed "break" (as in "rest break" reminder when you've been driving for too long).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flash777 View Post
Tata Altroz iTurbo should have come with the Nexon's Power figures. But then again, I read somewhere that the 5 speed gearbox was the limiting factor and hence the lower BHP and Torque figures.
Why not give it the Nexon's 6-speed which is also smoother? The Altroz is as important a product as the Nexon is, if not more. This kind of attempt at differentiation is foolish. Tata shouldn't worry about cannibalisation either. As a wise man once said, if you don't cannibalise yourself, a competitor will gladly do it for you.
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Old 20th January 2021, 11:39   #14
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Default Re: Tata Altroz 1.2L Turbo-Petrol Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by myavu View Post
WOW! great update. Altroz got the engine it deserves.

Hope the DCT version will be a true hot hatch with more torque to play with.

Typo as well as something is missing

Cheers!
Maybe the Nexon-tune will be launched with the DCT! Will help Tata to price it a bit more
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Old 20th January 2021, 11:44   #15
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Default Re: Tata Altroz 1.2L Turbo-Petrol Review

I am wondering how good is the turbo lag due to the lower tune if it is running a lower boost. I have found that I have to downshift more in my turbo petrol nexon (bs4) compared to 4 cyl na hatches I have driven. The power drops significantly under 1500 rpm warranting a downshift with revmatch.

I don't think they have de-tuned specifically for curbing turbo lag, as it has been discussed in the other thread, the lower tune of torque could be to accommodate the 5 speed gear box. But If it benefits the drivability it may be a slight consolation. Comparing with the 3 cylinder turbo petrol competition, the 1.2T doesn't have direct injection. GDI supposedly gives an edge in the low end performance by having better control in fueling across rpm range.
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