Tata Motors is working on a small car project codenamed Tata Kite. The project could yield more than one small car and IAB reader Mr. Subham Ghute has spotted what appears to be an early test mule of the Kite doing rounds in the company of the soon-to-be-launched Nano F-Tronic AMT.
The test mule is clearly a size smaller than the Bolt (verified by another informed Pune-based reader) but is bigger than the Nano. The silhouette is similar to that of the Bolt but since this is an early prototype, the production model could look significantly different.
The Kite small car would be made alongside the Nano at Tata Motors' heavily underutilized Sanand plant, one media report said this year. The Celerio rival is based on a re-engineered version of the Indica's X0 platform. In other words, just like how Bolt is an improved iteration of the Vista, the Kite would be a comprehensively improved (new exterior and interior design) Indica, sharing components with the Bolt.
Expect compact and fuel efficient petrol and diesel engines to power the upcoming B Segment hatchback. Given Tata's fascination with Automated Manual Transmissions (the Zest and the Nano are the first Tata models to receive the technology), the Kite could also be equipped with one.
Tata Motors will launch the Zest compact sedan next month followed by the Bolt hatchback a month later. The Nano F-Tronic AMT is also slated to be out later this year. Earlier media reports indicate that the Tata Kite small car could be ready towards the end of 2015.
A strong contender in the volume-rich B Segment is crucial for the company's sales revival, and the Kite vows to give them just that.
Competitors: Maruti Celerio, Honda Brio, Hyundai Grand i10
Expected Price: INR 4-6 lakhs, ex-showroom