Last year, Tata Motors entered the sub-4 metre SUV segment with the Nexon. In 2021, the company will launch a smaller SUV codenamed ‘Tata Hornbill’, says a fresh report from The Economic Times.
The Tata Hornbill is the same model that was reported last year with the codename ‘Tata X445’. It will compete with micro-SUVs Maruti Ignis and Mahindra KUV100. Codenamed ‘Tata X445’, this model was initially to arrive in 2022, but Tata Motors has preponed the launch after relooking the segment.
Asked for a comment on the Tata X445, Mayank Pareek, President, Tata Motors (PV division), refused, but acknowledged that there is a great potential for such a product.
“People who have been purchasing hatchbacks for years will be looking for an upgrade. India sells over 1 million hatchbacks every year. Almost 58% of the owners replace their car every six years (and for them) the micro or small SUV becomes a good alternative,” Pareek said.
The Tata Nexon is the last model underpinned by the Tata X1 platform, which supports the Tata Zest and Tata Bolt. The Tata Hornbill will ride on the Advanced Modular Platform, which will debut in the Tata 45X in CY2019 and underpin a mid-size sedan the following year.
Though Tata Motors is working in various directions to meet the upcoming BS6 norms, a turbocharged petrol engine would make the X445 a costly affair considering its rivals and positioning. TML could offer the X445 with a 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine, maybe a refitted Tata Tiago’s unit or a newly developed unit, along with manual and automated versions of the TA65 5-speed transmission. It is to be noted that the Mahindra KUV100 and the Maruti Ignis don't come with turbo petrol engines but get AMT.
Tata Motors isn’t the isolated OEM spotting the potential for a Maruti Ignis rival. Hyundai is evaluating such a micro-SUV as well, and it could launch this model after 2020.
[Source: The Economic Times]