Update - New spyshots added, courtesy of Rushlane.
New spyshots reveal a rounded-patterned defogger.
The upcoming Tata Kite hatchback has been spotted testing in Pune, much before its expected reveal later this year. The Indica-replacement will be slotted below the recently launched Tata Bolt, as per Tata’s Horizonext strategy, and will spawn a compact sedan derivative to replace the Indigo eCS.
Latest spyshots reveal a round-patterned defogger for the rear windshield, which is now wider thanks to the new set of taillights that replace the Indica's Christmas-tree style units. Other exterior changes could include wraparound headlights that merge into the honeycomb grille, new front and rear bumpers, redesigned bootlid, and a rear spoiler for top-spec variants.
Design will reportedly draw inspiration from the Tata Megapixel concept for a fresh yet familiar appeal. It will sit on a modified version of the Indica's platform, with mechanical upgrades and a retuned suspension setup.
The Kite's cabin is expected to be a step up from the aged Indica, with better materials and build quality. It will sport a white-backlit instrument panel with an MID (multi information display), while top-of-the-line variant could feature a dual-din touchscreen unit, a first in the segment.
Under the hood, Tata will offer a new range of engines for the Kite hatchback and sedan, which includes a 1.2-liter petrol unit and a 1.05-liter three-cylinder diesel unit making about 64 hp and 142 Nm of torque. A 5-speed manual transmission will be fitted as standard, while the growing demand for automatic gearboxes in compact hatchbacks could convince Tata to offer an AMT (automated manual transmission).
Reports suggest that the Tata Kite hatchback will break cover in June 2015, with production assigned to the Sanand manufacturing facility in Gujarat, which rolls out the Nano.
Competitors: Chevrolet Beat, Ford Figo, Hyundai i10, Honda Brio, Maruti Celerio
Expected price: INR 3.5-4.5 lakh, ex-showroom
Launch date: Before July 2015 (according to reports)