Tata Motors is working on a new hatchback, dubbed the Kite, which will sit in between the Nano and the Indica, as a rival to the likes of the Maruti Alto, Datsun Go and the Hyundai Eon. Tata Motors has just begun testing the Kite hatchback on Indian roads and here’s is the first ever spyshot of this car, spotted just outside Tata Motors’ Pimpri factory.
From the looks of it, the car doesn’t seem like the tall-boy hatchback that it was anticipated to be. Rather, the Kite seems to be as tall as say, the Indica Vista and definitely shorter than the Nano, which is Tata Motors’ only tallboy hatchback to date. We’ve uploaded a reference image with a street vendor to depict the car’s height. In terms of its footprint, the Kite hatchback size seems pegged between the Nano and the Vista.
The Kite will make an official debut in 2015, and is expected to be available with turbo petrol and turbo diesel engine options. Tata Motors could also use its recently unveiled F-TRONIC automated manual transmission on the Kite hatchback as the Maruti Alto K10 will go AMT next year. Since Tata Motors has ushered in turbo petrol engines on the likes of the Bolt and the Zest, a downsized turbo petrol motor could make it to the Kite’s engine bay as well.
The Kite is an important product for Tata Motors, even as the automaker is working on turning around its fortunes in the Indian car market. The Kite is expected to give Tata Motors a breather at Sanand, with the new hatchback utilizing some of the huge unused capacity that was originally meant for the Nano. The Sanand factory, which is configured to produced 250,000 Nanos a year, is barely doing 10 % of that number.
The Kite is a part of Tata Motors’ HORIZONEXT startegy, which involves all new products that are sharply styled and that come with high quality levels. Since the Kite’s starting price is expected to be pegged at about the 3 lakh rupee mark, the car is a big volume offering that could change Tata Motors’ fortunes in India quite dramatically. Keep an eye on this space as we dig out more details on the Kite.