Snapshot – Tata Motors is expected to launch nine new cars in the next couple of years. The launches will span the entire portfolio of the automaker. So, by the end of next year, the Indian automaker should have a completely revamped line up of cars, ones that have the potential to propel Tata Motors’ to the third spot in the Indian car market, behind Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai. CarToq profiles each of the 9 new Tata cars that are India bound and analyzes the impact each of these cars are likely to have on their respective segments.
Safari Storme Facelift
The Tata Safari Storme SUV is due for a mid life makeover. The facelift is expected to give the interiors of the SUV a once over. The infotainment unit from Harman will occupy pride of place in the center console, and a few other tweaks on the dashboard and interiors are likely. The steering wheel will be borrowed from the Zest and will also add steering mounted audio controls, which earlier were consigned to the steering column’s instrumentation stalks. The SUV may also gain a third row of front facing seats. The 2.2 liter turbo diesel engine could gain the tune that the Aria Facelift received, 148 Bhp-320 Nm. The 5 speed manual gearbox is likely to be retained while the front of the SUV will get minor changes such as a new grille and a reprofiled bumper.
The Nano AMT was showcased at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo and more than a year has elapsed. The car is being repositioned as a smart city car and the 5 speed AMT gearbox is a move towards the repositioning. Apart from the AMT unit, the car is also expected to gain a larger fuel tank, disc brakes on the front wheels and a openable hatch lid. The Nano AMT’s front and rear styling will see revisions, giving the car a facelifted look on the outside too. The 624cc, twin cylinder petrol engine is likely to be retained until the arrival of the Pelican code-named hatchback.
Slow Nano sales have made the Sanand factory unprofitable for Tata Motors. The Kite twins, in a sense, will arrive to boost factory utilization at Sanand, and also give vendors a chance to recoup the investments sunk in for the Nano. The Kite hatchback will also replace the Tata Indica, as the automaker’s budget offering in the B-Segment. A 1.05 liter, triple cylinder turbo diesel engine, along with a petrol engine tuned to also work on CNG, are likely to be offered on the Kite. The car is expected to make its debut later this year.
Kite Compact Sedan
The Kite compact sedan will share the platform and parts with its hatchback sibling. This also means that the 1.05 liter turbo diesel engine, in addition to a new petrol motor, will be shared with the hatchback. The Kite compact sedan will replace the Indigo eCS and will sit below the Zest in terms of price and positioning. Like its hatchback sibling, the Kite compact sedan will be produced at Sanand. The car is expected to be one of the better looking compact sedans in terms of boot integration.
Bolt AMT Hatchback
Tata Motors didn’t launch the Bolt hatchback with the AMT option due to the shortage of this component. Later in the year though, the Bolt is expected to be made available with an AMT option even as Maruti Suzuki is readying up the Swift Diesel AMT for a launch in late 2015. The Bolt Diesel AMT will go directly against the Swift. The 75 Bhp 1.3 liter Fiat Multijet turbo diesel engine will be retained. The Bolt AMT is expected to be offered in both mid and top end variants.
Bolt Sport Hot Hatch
Tata Motors is all set to introduce a new performance sub-brand in India. The first vehicle under this brand will be the Bolt Sport. As its name suggests, the Bolt Sport will be a sporty variant of the car, with a remapped ECU and a free flow exhaust pushing up the 1.2 liter REVOTRON turbo petrol engine’s outputs to 120 Bhp-170 Nm. The car will use a short shift 5 speed gearbox that gets revised gear ratios. Other changes on the car will include stiffer springs for the suspension, which will also be lowered. The car will also receive a body kit to go with its sporty performance.
Hexa (Project Eagle) Crossover
Tata Motors just unwrapped the Hexa crossover at the ongoing Geneva Motor Show. The Hexa is essentially a redesigned Aria, which gets a new bonnet up front and revised styling cues all around. The inside of the crossover seem designed for superior comfort, with seating for 6. The 2.2 liter turbo diesel engine gains power and torque, and is now rated at 154 Bhp-400 Nm. A six speed automatic transmission option is expected to be a part of the equation on the production version of the Hexa concept, which is likely to replace the Aria. The Aria could be repositioned lower.
The Nexon crossover will mark Tata Motors’ foray into the sub-4 meter compact SUV space in India. Based on the X1 platform that it shares with the Bolt and the Zest, the Nexon’s design will be inspired by the Range Rover Evoque. The crossover is expected to be sold with turbo petrol and turbo diesel engine options. An all wheel drive layout is unlikely given the crossover’s urban positioning. In terms of pricing, the Nexon is expected to be Tata Motors’ answer to Ford’s EcoSport and Maruti Suzuki’s upcoming YBA compact SUV.
The Pelican code-named hatchback will take the Nano’s repositioning idea further. The rear wheel drive-rear engine layout of the Nano will be retained on the Pelican but the latter will gain a larger petrol engine, in this case a 1 liter-3 cylinder unit. An 800cc, twin cylinder turbo diesel engine could also be a propulsion option for the car. The exterior design will receive a once over, with creature comforts such as an AMT option, a power steering, air conditioning and an openable hatch lid on offer. The Pelican seems of have all the trappings of what the Nano should have originally been.