2024 Tata Altroz Racer drive review: A racer in a tuxedo

Tata Altroz Racer
₹9.49 lakh
4 out of 5
5
Safety
4.5
Performance
4.5
Feature
4.5
Design
4
Comfort
5
Safety
4.5
Performance
4.5
Feature
4.5
Design
4
Comfort
Pros
  • Striking design
  • Good driving dynamics
  • Premium cabin experience
Cons
  • Quality issues at places
  • Exhaust note not up to the mark
The 2024 Tata Altroz Racer is a finely tuned version of the Tata Altroz. It has been aptly tweaked to take on city roads as well as tracks. The jump i
...
Tata Altroz Racer
The Tata Altroz Racer is priced from ₹9.49 lakh to ₹10.99 lakh and is offered across three trim levels
Tata Altroz Racer
The Tata Altroz Racer is priced from ₹9.49 lakh to ₹10.99 lakh and is offered across three trim levels

Many automakers have tried their hands on the desi hot hatchback segment in India, but failed. One key reason behind the failure is that while these flashy four legged hooligans have the flamboyance, in a country like India where you find yourself in a traffic jam even on highways the exact nature of these hot hatches haven’t been able to justify their presence.

Also Read : Tata Altroz Racer launched with sporty performance, priced from 9.49 lakh

Additionally the higher price tag have also made the customers choose the more value for money alternatives. However there’s one new offering which seems to cater to this exact problem - the Tata Altroz Racer.

Tata Altroz Racer
VariantsPrice
R1 9.49 lakh
R2 10.49 lakh
R3 10.99 lakh

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So, are you a thrill-seeker with a need for speed? Or perhaps a beige enthusiast who wouldn't know excitement if it bit them on the backside? Well, the Altroz Racer doesn't care! Gather 'round because what we have here today is a motoring paradox, an automotive multiple personality disorder sufferer!

2024 Tata Altroz Racer: Exteriors

Just like a perfectly cooked dish, a hot hatch needs to walk the line between subtle and sensational. Taking the well-regarded Tata Altroz as its foundation, the Altroz Racer aces this challenge. Thankfully, Tata hasn't strayed too far from the winning formula.

Tata Altroz Racer
Tata has made sure to not to go overboard with the exterior design upgrades for the Altroz Racer
Tata Altroz Racer
Tata has made sure to not to go overboard with the exterior design upgrades for the Altroz Racer

The Tata Altroz was already a head-turner. So, the Altroz Racer's makeover is refreshingly restrained. It comes in three new colour options including Atomic Orange, Pure Grey and Avenue White, with a dual-tone black roof, bonnet, and mirrors – a hint of flamboyance without going overboard.

Tata Altroz Racer
At the side, the Tata Altroz Racer gets 16 inch smoked alloy wheels
Tata Altroz Racer
At the side, the Tata Altroz Racer gets 16 inch smoked alloy wheels

Subtle racing stripes dance across the bonnet and roof, whispering "performance" without screaming it. Other sporty touches include "Racer" badges, side skirts, a rear spoiler, and dual exhaust tips. Plus, a new "i-turbo +" badge on the boot discreetly announces this is no ordinary Altroz.

Tata Altroz Racer
At the rear, the Tata Altroz Racer gets new spoiler, dual tip exhaust and an 'i-turbo +' badge
Tata Altroz Racer
At the rear, the Tata Altroz Racer gets new spoiler, dual tip exhaust and an 'i-turbo +' badge

The tweaks are effective. The Pure Grey paint shade, in particular, strikes a perfect balance between sporty and sophisticated. It embodies the Altroz Racer's character – exciting, yet understated. In terms of design, Tata has delivered exactly what was needed. Consider it a win.

2024 Tata Altroz Racer: Cabin

Hot hatches aren't just about flashy looks, they're rolling playstations for the young crowd. Tech is king, and the standard Altroz doesn't exactly scream "gadget guru." So, did Tata step up their game for the Racer? Absolutely!

Forget beige interiors! The Altroz Racer goes full Darth Vader with a black cabin. Orange accents pop around vents, the gear console, and even the contrasting orange stitching – a sporty touch without going overboard. Speaking of comfort (essential for those long gaming sessions!), the ventilated leatherette seats are a godsend in India's scorching climate.

Tata Altroz Racer
The cabin of the Tata Altroz Racer feels much premium than the standard Altroz
Tata Altroz Racer
The cabin of the Tata Altroz Racer feels much premium than the standard Altroz

The real star of the show, though, is the new 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system lifted from the Tata Punch EV. But wait, there's more! The interface is completely revamped to match the car's sporty personality. The same goes for the 7-inch TFT instrument cluster (borrowed from the Safari Red Dark Edition) – it gets a unique Racer-themed makeover. Top it off with a 360-degree camera and a voice-activated sunroof, and you've got a tech suite fit for a digital nomad.

Tata Altroz Racer
The ventilated seats of the Tata Altroz Racer feel like a blessing in disguise in these scoarching temperatures
Tata Altroz Racer
The ventilated seats of the Tata Altroz Racer feel like a blessing in disguise in these scoarching temperatures

Thankfully, practicality hasn't been sacrificed for thrills. Just like the regular Altroz, the Racer offers ample space, storage compartments, and comfortable seating for three in the back. However, a couple of ergonomic niggles hold it back. The driver's door armrest feels rough and could bruise your elbow, and the handbrake placement isn't the most intuitive. Despite these minor hurdles, the overall feel is undeniably premium for its class.

2024 Tata Altroz Racer: Drive

Imagine your best friend: reliable for daily commutes, but always up for a weekend adventure. That's the Altroz Racer in a nutshell. It's a hot hatch with a dual personality, and that's what makes it so exciting.

Sure, the standard Altroz i-turbo packed a punch. But the Racer? It craved more. So, the Tata engineers, like a proud parent raising the bar, decided to give it a serious power upgrade. They borrowed the Tata Nexon's 1.2L engine and its 6-speed manual transmission and fitted it into the Altroz Racer. This translates to a noticeable jump in power – you'll feel the extra pep in every gear shift.

Tata Altroz Racer
Take the Tata Altroz Racer to a track, and it's like letting a dog loose in a park – pure, unbridled joy.
Tata Altroz Racer
Take the Tata Altroz Racer to a track, and it's like letting a dog loose in a park – pure, unbridled joy.

But the magic doesn't stop there. They knew just throwing in more power wouldn't be enough. Enter Narain Karthikeyan, India's F1 legend. He became the car's secret weapon, helping fine-tune the Racer's driving dynamics.

It's not just about the engine; the suspension has been meticulously adjusted to handle the extra weight of the new drivetrain while maintaining comfort for both road and track use. Remember, this car is built for everyday commutes with occasional bursts of adrenaline.

Tata Altroz Racer
On the roads, the Tata Altroz Racer feels effortless to drive
Tata Altroz Racer
On the roads, the Tata Altroz Racer feels effortless to drive

This suspension tweak, along with upgraded dampers, reduces front-end push, resulting in sharper cornering. The steering gets a makeover too, offering more feedback for precise control on the track and a reassuring weight for high-speed stability on the road. However, it can feel overly stiff at slower speeds.

The final touch? A new hydraulic clutch system. The new hydraulic clutch system elevates the driving experience further. Shorter throws lead to quicker gear changes, keeping you fully engaged with the car.

The result? A hot hatch that's like your best friend: reliable, exciting and always ready for an adventure, big or small. On the track, the Altroz Racer unleashes its inner beast with a touch of control, of course!. But on the road, it transforms into a smooth, gentle lamb, perfect for daily commutes. This dual personality makes the Altroz Racer a true standout in the hot hatch segment.

2024 Tata Altroz Racer: Verdict

SUVs are trendy, sure, but before you jump on that bandwagon, consider this: hatchbacks might be the secret weapon you've been overlooking.

Let's face it, navigating those chaotic Indian city streets is a hatchback's playground. Their lower center of gravity, thanks to a closer hug to the ground (without sacrificing ground clearance!), translates to better handling and a confidence-boosting driving experience. Plus, their compact size lets you weave through traffic like a pro.

Now, about the Altroz Racer – it practically stands alone in the hot hatch arena along with its lone rival- the Hyundai i20 N Line. Sure, the Hyundai i20 N Line’s performance figures are pretty similar to that of the Tata Altroz Racer. But the choice boils down to your personal taste. Test drive both, that's the key!

But here's the clincher: if you're hunting for a premium hatchback that delivers serious driving thrills, look no further than the Altroz Racer. It addresses the shortcomings of the regular Altroz and comes at a competitive price tag. Plus, you'll have way more fun behind the wheel of the Tata Altroz Racer compared to other premium hatchbacks out there.

First Published Date: 16 Jun 2024, 12:00 PM IST
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