The car is available at a starting price of Rs. 2.44 lakh (base model, ex-showroom, Delhi). It comes in three 800 cc variants—two petrol and one CNG. The 1,000 cc Alto will continue to be available in its previous avatar.
The petrol engine can churn out 45.7 bhp of power at 6000 rpm and a maximum torque of 69 Nm at 3500 rpm. The CNG engine produces peak power of 40 bhp at the rate of 6200 rpm and a maximum torque of 56 Nm at the rate of 3000 rpm.
The petrol version is expected to give a fuel efficiency of 22.7 km per litre, while the CNG version will do close to 30 km per kg, according to Maruti.
Speaking at the launch, managing director Shinzo Nakanishi said the company has already received 10,000 bookings for the vehicle. The company will begin exporting the model from January 2013.
The car will be available in six colours—Frost Blue, Blazing Red, Silky Silver, Torque Blue, Granite Gray and Superior White. One of the most important additions is an airbag on the driver's side.
The Alto has been India's best-selling car for eight straight years, and Maruti will hope to extend its lead over other major players in the small-car segment, such as Hyundai, Ford and Tata Motors.
Of late, sales of the Alto has declined, and was down 34.83 per cent in the April-August period to 89,000 units as compared to 1.22 lakh units in the year-ago period.
In the fiscal year that ended in March, Maruti sold over 310,000 Altos, making it the world's biggest selling small car. Indians bought 2.02 million cars that year.
Sales of Maruti's entry-level models are down 21 per cent so far in the current fiscal year, hit by rising competition from rivals.
Since 1984, Maruti's entry-level models have outsold anything in India's car market, as millions of middle-class families and first-time owners in the developing country flocked to its Maruti 800 model and its successor, the Alto.