Tata Motors has hit the hatchback based crossover button with the Tiago NRG. Tata will launch the Altroz premium hatchback later this year, as a challenger to the likes of the Maruti Baleno, the Hyundai Elite i20 and the Honda Jazz. Notably, both the i20 and Jazz have crossover variants in the form of the i20 Active and WR-V. Keeping this in mind, IAB has come up with a rendering that shows what the Tata Altroz NRG – a crossover version of the premium hatchback – will look like if ever put into production.
As the render shows, the NRG version of the Altroz is expected to have plenty of butch bits. From taller wheels, roof rails, cladding on the flanks, revised front bumper and cladding around the grille and fog lamps, the NRG version of the Tata Altroz could see a slew of cosmetic changes. Ground clearance could also go up by a few millimeters thanks to taller suspension bits. Now, while this is the standard playbook for a crossover, but if you ask us, Tata is unlikely to take this route with the Altroz.
The reason is not hard to figure. Tata Motors already has the Nexon that will sit right above the Altroz in terms of price and positioning, and there’s no point having a crossover-ish hatchback when there’s a proper crossover on sale. Also, the Altroz looks very sleek, with its styling quite apt for a hatchback. Trying to add butch bits to thisdesign may not really work, and the person wanting a crossover may still opt for the Nexon. Of course, all this may change if the Altroz hatchback gets a super competitive price tag, leaving a yawning gap between it and the Nexon.
If this happens, Tata Motors may just be tempted to take the NRG route with the Altroz. Meanwhile, the automaker is readying up another small SUV in the form of the H2X. Shown as a concept at Geneva, the H2X will be a micro SUV designed to challenge the likes of the Mahindra KUV100 and the Maruti Ignis. It’ll sit well below the Nexon in terms of price and positioning. A sub-Rs.5 lakh pricing would make it a very attractive buy considering the fact that it looks like a mini Harrier.
The H2X, when it hits production sometime in 2020, will get a different name though. We expect this micro SUV to be a petrol-only offering, with a turbocharged petrol engine likely to power it considering the tightening emission norms from 2020. Adding a diesel engine to the H2X may not make much sense as it will increase the price of the vehicle to levels that may drive away buyers. The Bharat Stage 6 (BS6) emission norms, which will kick in from April 2020, are bound to make diesel powered cars a lot more pricier than petrols. This is the reason why most small cars will dump diesels for turbo petrol and CNG power.