The Tata Kite hatchback has just begun doing the testing runs in and around Tata Motors’ Pimpri factory. The car, which is likely to slot in between the Nano and the Indica hatchbacks, is a very important launch for Tata Motors as it seeks to remake the Tata brand in the entry-level hatchback segment, which delivers big volumes and that is particularly difficult to crack. CarToq’s rendering artist has put together a speculative render on how the Tata Kite could look like.
The Kite hatchback will follow Tata Motor’ latest design philosophy, first seen on the likes of the Zest compact sedan and the Bolt hatchback. On the Kite, a sharper, aggressive front end, will combine with the car’s jelly bean lines. Many design cues are likely to be borrowed from the Nexon crossover. The Kite is expected to slot in between the regular and tall-boy hatchback in terms of height. The car is likely to be powered by small capacity petrol and turbo diesel engines.
An automated manual transmission is another option that Tata Motors could add to the Kite, in order to make the car more appealing. The Tata Kite will take on the likes of the Maruti Suzuki WagonR and the Hyundai i10. A compact sedan variant is also planned on the Kite platform. A 2015 launch time frame is likely for the Kite, which will be Tata Motors’ first all-new hatchback in 6 years, after the Nano’s launch in 2009.
The Kite will roll out of Tata Motors’ grossly underused Sanand manufacturing facility, in Gujarat. Currently, Sanand’s Tata factory is operating at under 20 % of its installed capacity of 250,000 yearly units of the Nano low cost hatchback. By producing the Kite at Sanand, Tata Motors plans to turn around its Gujarat operation and also give vendors the chance to turn around their operations, which are currently badly hit by the Nano’s poor sales.