Maruti Suzuki have launched the automatic version of the petrol Ritz. As A-Star is the only small automatic car available in the stable, this is a good move. The Maruti Suzuki Ritz AT is powered by the famed 1.2-litre, K-Series petrol engine boasting 84 BHP of power and 113 Nm of torque. The gearbox is a 4–speed unit used currently in the DZire. The official fuel efficiency rating for the automatic Ritz is 17.16 km/l (slightly more than the Honda Brio automatic). The Ritz AT will probably be priced around Rs. 6 lakhs.
Recently there has been a steady increase in the sales of small automatic cars. About 10 years ago, the Santro was the only small car with an automatic gearbox and later the Zen. Due to the higher cost of the automatic option and lower fuel efficiency, the sale of these cars was very low. However due to the high number of cars on the road and pretty bad traffic conditions, people have started understanding the joys of owning a small automatic car. Lots of elderly people, ladies, people with lots of city driving and individuals who have returned from abroad prefer using automatic cars.
Presently there are quite a few small automatic cars available in the market, like the Hyundai i10 automatic, Hyundai i20 automatic, Honda Brio automatic and A-Star automatic. So the competition is tough as the i10 and Brio automatic are also very practical cars. Maruti Suzuki may not get huge sales from this car, but definitely will help the company to add to the overall sales figures. But we can ask that why haven’t they introduced the Swift with an auto box? As the Swift has a more premium image, the Swift AT might have sold better than the Ritz AT. Maybe Maruti Suzuki is gauging the market response and will introduce the Swift with the auto box in the near future.