Spy pictures: Maruti Baleno-rivalling Tata 45X spotted testing at race track

by Dennis James

Tata Motors has been hard at work testing out its upcoming cars. Now just a few weeks after spotting the Harrier SUV at the Kari Motor Speedway, Autocar India has spied the 45X premium hatchback, which will compete with the Maruti’s Baleno, being put through its paces at the same race track in Coimbatore.

Just like the Harrier SUV, Tata seems to be fine-tuning the suspension set-up and dynamic traits of its upcoming premium hatchback, which will compete with the likes of the Maruti Baleno and the Toyota-badged version of the car along with the Hyundai i20 and Honda Jazz among others, when it hits the streets sometime likely in the second half of 2019. The new Tata car is likely to be cheaper than the Maruti Baleno.

The Tata 45X was first revealed at the Auto Expo 2018 alongside the H5X concept SUV. The test mule of the upcoming hatchback, though heavily camouflaged, retains the basic silhouette of the 45X concept, which along with the H5X showed Tata’s future design direction as part of its Impact Design 2.0 styling philosophy.

If the Harrier is anything to go by, then we can expect the production-spec hatchback based on the 45X to retain most of the design elements of the concept car.

The interiors of the production 45X will be roomy and should come loaded with tech including a free-standing touchscreen infotainment system that has been seen on previous test mules of the hatch. The interiors of the 45X are expected to be draped in high-quality materials and the hatch is expected to come with multiple customization options on offer directly from the carmaker.

Not much is known about the production-spec 45X’s powertrain options considering that Tata Motors did not release any details about the car’s engine and gearbox options at the Auto Expo 2018. However, when the production-spec hatchback arrives in 2019, we expect it to feature re-tuned versions of the engines found under the bonnet of the Nexon compact SUV.

The Nexon’s 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine produces 108 Bhp and 170 Nm of torque. The diesel engine, on the other hand, cranks out 108 Bhp and 260 Nm of torque. Both engines in their current state of tune are more powerful than the one offered with the Maruti Baleno.

Both engines are expected to be mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox and will feature multiple driving modes. The automatic gearbox option according to Autocar India will be a new twin-clutch gearbox, which is currently being developed by Tata Motors.