After launching a sub-4 metre B-SUV, the Nexon, Tata Motors has its eyes on the premium B-SUVs like the Hyundai Creta and the Nissan Kicks next. The company is developing such a model of its own, codenamed ‘Blackbird’, as per a report from Autocar India.
Premium SUVs aren’t as high in demand as sub-4 metre B-SUVs, but even that volume is quite big. Hyundai sold over 1.20 lakh units of the Creta last year, and that’s a number Tata Motors simply can’t ignore. There’s a massive potential for a product between the Nexon priced from INR 6.36-10.80 lakh* and the Harrier priced from INR 12.69-16.25 lakh*, now that SUV customers have sidelined the Tata Safari Storme.
Tata Motors initially planned to develop the premium B-SUV on the modified D8 platform called Omega-Arc, much like how Land Rover made the Evoque using the D8 platform. However, that wasn’t feasible from a technical standpoint, and it would have been too costly as well. So, the company has now decided to go for the in-house developed Advanced Modular Platform or Alfa-Arc. It will stretch this platform substantially to house the new SUV tophat.
The Tata Blackbird will arrive as the first AMP (Alfa-Arc) model measuring over 4,000 mm in length. It is expected to measure ~4.2 metres, a little shorter than the Hyundai Creta. It will likely come with a more powerful version of the Tata Nexon’s 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine producing around 120 hp and an upgraded version of the same SUV’s 1.5-litre turbocharged diesel engine. AMP supports electric powertrains, and so, a battery-powered variant could follow.
The launch of the Tata Blackbird will take place sometime in 2021.