The Maruti Celerio was the first car in India to get the automated manual transmission (AMT), while the new diesel version is India’s most fuel efficient vehicle.
The Maruti Suzuki Celerio went on sale in April last year and was quick to make waves, being equipped with the first-of-its-kind Automated Manual Transmission (AMT). Now 14 months later, the automaker’s attempt at introducing an affordable automatic hatchback has been classified as successful with the Celerio crossing the one lakh unit sales mark in the domestic market (the Hyundai Elite i20 reached the same sales mark in just 11 months). The hatchback was introduced as a replacement to the A-Star (and also the Ritz overseas) and was initially available with a petrol heart only; last month though the company introduced a diesel variant on the Celerio to keep the sales momentum strong.
The Maruti Celerio grabbed everyone’s attention from day one due to the option of the unconventional AMT unit. A far more cheaper alternative to the usual CVT or torque converter automatic transmissions, the Celerio Auto Gear Shift managed to kick start the popularity of automatics offering effortless driving in congested city conditions at a marginal premium over the manual variant. The company has maintained from time to time that around 50 percent of the Celerio’s bookings are for the AMT variant. The small car also helped improve Maruti’s market share in the hatchback space that increased from 61 percent to a healthy 71 percent within a year of launch.
Powering the Maruti Celerio is a 1.0-litre K-Series petrol engine producing 68 PS and 90 Nm of torque, while a 0.8-litre twin-cylinder DDiS diesel engine is now available with 47 PS and 125 Nm of torque. Both the engines come paired to a 5-speed manual gearbox as standard, while only the petrol version is available with the Magneti Marelli sourced AMT unit. Prices for the Celerio petrol start at Rs. 3.90 lakhs while the diesel variant lineup starts at Rs. 4.65 lakhs (all prices, ex-showroom Delhi). The company also introduced a top-end ZXi trim for the AMT variant earlier this year, based on customer feedback.