IAB reader Vikram Viswanathan, who has an astute eye for test prototypes, has spotted a Tata H5X in Ooty during high-altitude road tests. The production version of the concept that made its debut at the Auto Expo in February will reportedly be unveiled in November 2018.
The test mule is not production-ready as evident from the makeshift headlights, tail lights and bumpers. However, the slopey profile of the upcoming Tata SUV is quite clear in these spy shots. Compared to the concept, the production version's roofline is more in favour of rear passenger headroom. Tata Motors' head of design, Pratap Bose, has said that 85% of the design of the H5X will be retained during its transition from concept to production form, a precedent set by the Tata Nexon project.
Back in February, images partially revealing the interior of the Tata H5X were uploaded to the web. The centre console gets an upright Nexon-like touchscreen display. The cabin featured seating for five occupants, although rumours suggest there will be a 7-seat version in a second installment.
A new report claims that Tata will also plonk a petrol engine under the hood of the H5X. The use of a petrol engine signals intent for a hybrid variant in the future. That said, on the release date, the Tata H5X could be a diesel-only offering.
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Speaking of the launch, the SUV is likely to go on sale in early 2019 following a media reveal towards the end of 2018. Tata Motors will follow it up with the launch of a premium hatchback to rival the Maruti Baleno and Hyundai i20 based on the Tata 45X concept from the Auto Expo. The list of upcoming Tata cars in 2018-19 include the Tata Tiago JTP and the Tata Tigor JTP.