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Tata Altroz Racer Review: Fast Enough to Make Your Commute Feel Like a Formula One Race!

The Tata Altroz Racer, a sporty variant of Tata’s popular hatchback, made its debut in 2024, marking a significant entry into the performance hatchback segment in India. Let’s delve into the features, design, performance, and overall driving experience of this car.

The Tata Altroz Racer is available exclusively in a petrol variant, with prices starting at INR 9.49 lakh for the base model and going up to INR 11 lakh for the top-end R3 model, which is the version we’re focusing on in this review. Compared to the standard Altroz, which starts at INR 6.64 lakh, the Racer variant commands a premium due to its enhanced performance and features.

Co-developed with India’s first Formula One driver, Narain Karthikeyan, the Altroz Racer promises a race-inspired driving experience. The car’s name, inspired by the Albatross bird, signifies agility and strength. The Altroz is assembled in Pune and is built on Tata’s Agile, Lightweight, Flexible, and Advanced (ALFA) architecture, shared with the Tata Punch.

Safety is a paramount concern for Tata, and the Altroz Racer excels in this area with a 5-star rating from Global NCAP. Over 2.5 lakh units of the Altroz have been sold in India, a testament to its popularity and reliability. The body utilizes ultra-high strength steel, ensuring a robust and durable structure.

The sporty design of the Altroz Racer includes several notable features. It comes equipped with fog lamps with cornering function and LED DRLs, automatic projector headlamps, rain-sensing wipers with flat type blades, and electrically adjustable and auto-fold outside mirrors with integrated cameras. Sporty black tape adorns the A and C pillars, while 16-inch dark alloy wheels with 185/60 R16 86H MRF Ecotred GCA6 tyres enhance its athletic look. The car is available in Atomic Orange, White, and Grey. The suspension system includes independent McPherson dual-path strut at the front and twist beam with coil springs and shock absorbers at the rear, providing a balanced ride. Additionally, it features a sporty exhaust system and a new sporty spoiler.

The interior of the Altroz Racer is equally impressive, boasting leatherette upholstery with racing stripes, ambient lighting with orange mood lighting, and ventilated front seats. The driver seat is height-adjustable, and the AC vents have orange accents. A leather-wrapped sliding armrest adds to the comfort. The car is equipped with a 10.24-inch touchscreen Harman infotainment system that supports wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, What3Words navigation, and voice assistant. It also features a voice-activated electric sunroof, a 7-inch TFT digital instrument cluster, a 6-speed manual transmission with a leather-wrapped gear knob, a wireless charger, and a fully automatic temperature control AC with an air purifier. Advanced safety features include six airbags, a 360-degree surround view camera, blind view monitor, ABS with EBD, corner stability control, brake sway control, reverse parking sensors, ISOFIX child seat mounting, and more.

Under the hood, the Altroz Racer is powered by a 1199 cc, Inline-3 cylinder, turbocharged Revotron petrol engine, delivering 118 horsepower and 170 Nm of torque. This engine, also used in the Tata Nexon, propels the Altroz Racer from 0 to 100 km/h in 11.3 seconds, with a top speed of 165 km/h. The fuel tank capacity is 37 litres, and the car offers an average of around 16 kmpl.

Driving the Altroz Racer is a delight, thanks to its power-packed performance and sporty design. The car’s handling is sharp, and the suspension tuning strikes a balance between ride comfort and sporty handling. The torque delivery is smooth across the RPM range, reducing the need for frequent gear shifts. However, the lack of multiple drive modes means the car is always in a sporty setting, which might not be ideal for city driving where an Eco or City mode would be beneficial.

The steering is light and offers good feedback, making high-speed driving and sharp turns a pleasure. The braking system is robust, ensuring confidence-inspiring stops. On the downside, the absence of an automatic transmission might be a dealbreaker for some, as the car is currently only available with a manual gearbox.

In conclusion, the Tata Altroz Racer is a well-rounded performance hatchback that combines sporty design, advanced features, and top-notch safety. While it excels in many areas, including handling, build quality, and safety, the lack of an automatic transmission and multiple drive modes are notable omissions. Overall, for those who enjoy spirited driving and appreciate a well-engineered car, the Altroz Racer is a compelling choice in the premium hatchback segment.

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