Pak Suzuki has unveiled the much awaited Alto 660cc at the 2019 Pakistan Auto Parts Show (PAPS). The new Alto will replace Mehran as the entry level hatchback in Pak Suzuki’s lineup and will officially go on sale by mid of June 2019.
But this isn’t the first time that a Suzuki Alto model is being introduced in Pakistan. Pak Suzuki has sold the 5th generation of Alto hatchback in Pakistan between 2000 and 2012. That 5th gen Alto was replaced by Wagon R in year 2014.
However not many people know that during all these years, different Alto models have been sold with different names in Pakistan, hence people generally don’t realize that it’s the same car. Let’s look at the different Alto generations that have been produced since 1979, most of which were available in Pakistan under different names.
First generation (1979–1984)
The first generation Alto (SS30V/40V) was introduced in May 1979. It was available in 3-door, 5-door and 3-door van body styles. The engine deployed for the export markets was 796cc F8B unit.
The first generation Alto was available in Pakistan between 1982 & 1988 and was called as the Suzuki FX. The initial units had round headlamps and a black interior. From 1984 onwards, the square shaped headlamps replaced the round ones while the interior was updated with a brown color scheme.
Second generation (1984–1988)
The second generation Alto was produced between 1984 and 1988. With a 796 cc F8B engine, the stripped down version of this car with a very basic leaf spring suspension setup was launched in Pakistan in 1989 and continued to be sold for 30 years. The 2nd generation Alto, better known to us as the Suzuki Mehran will be replaced by 8th generation Alto 660cc.
Third generation (1988–1994)
The third generation Alto (CL11) came with a 657 cc F6A engine and was more angular in styling. It appeared in our market via the Yellow Cab scheme in early 90s. It was vastly known as the Mini Alto in Pakistan.
Fourth generation (1994–1998)
The Fourth generation Alto (HA11) was launched in 1994 and carried a 657 cc F6A and 658 cc K6A engine. This generation was the first to come equipped with an optional airbag. The 4th generation Alto was not available in Pakistan.
Fifth generation (1998–2004)
The fifth generation Alto was launched globally in 1998 and within a couple of years was launched in Pakistan too. This is one of such rare instances when Pak Suzuki had introduced any car within a couple for years of its global launch. With a 970 cc F10A engine this generation of Alto continued to be sold in our country till 2012 with minor cosmetic changes. It was phased out in 2012 when the government officially adapted Euro-II emission standards and Alto wasn’t able to continue with its carburetor setup.
Sixth generation (2004–2009)
The 6th generation (HA24) Alto can be seen on our roads in decent numbers, and different names, thanks to the used JDM imports. Equipped with a 658 cc K6A engine, this Alto is rebadged as Mazda Carol and Nissan Pino and all 3 nomenclatures exist in our market.
Seventh generation (2009–2014)
The 7th generation (HA25) Alto is also available in the market as a JDM import. It comes with 658 cc K6A, 658 cc R06A, and 998 cc K10B engine. This is the first Alto to have Suzuki’s ENE-CHARGE system, with this technology, fuel economy of Alto has now improved to 33.0 km/L based on Japan’s JC08 Mode test cycle.
Eighth generation (2014–present)
The 8th generation JDM Alto can also be seen on Pakistan roads in good numbers. It was designed to have very low fuel consumption, this was achieved using “Suzuki Green Technology” for the body and the engine, and resulted in the car having a claimed fuel consumption of 37 km/L. The 8th gen Alto is 60 kg lighter than the previous model. Equipped with a 658 cc R06A engine, the car comes with either a 5-speed manual or a CVT transmission and is equipped with Suzuki Ene-charge mild hybrid system with regenerative braking etc.
Pak Suzuki’s 8th gen Alto will reportedly miss all the key features of the Japanese Alto 660cc, however the VXL version will thankfully retain ABS and airbags.
Ninth generation (October 2019 launch)
The first generation Alto was unveiled globally back in October 1979, Suzuki will mark the 40th anniversary of its popular Alto nameplate by unveiling the 9th generation Alto in October 2019. From the looks of it, Pak Suzuki will again become a generation behind when it comes to selling the 8th generation Alto 660cc in Pakistan.