Tata HBX (Hornbill) micro SUV caught testing on Manali-Leh highway

Tata showcased the all-new HBX concept at the 2020 Auto Expo and it did attract a lot of eyes. The production version of the HBX was expected to be revealed by the end of this year, however, due to the COVID-19 related delays, Tata has now pushed the launch to next year. The all-new HBX has been spotted testing all around the country and in the latest video, the near-production form of the car has been spotted at the Manali-Leh Highway in Himachal Pradesh.

The new HBX will be positioned below the Tata Nexon and it will be the brand’s most affordable car in the SUV line-up. The concept that was showcased at the 2020 Auto Expo is more than 95% similar to the production version so there will not be many changes except for a few things like tyres, bumpers, flush-type door handles and more such features. The overall shape of the HBX concept at the Auto Expo is very similar to the test mule testing on the Manali-Leh highway. Since the highway is located at a very high altitude and offers some of the toughest conditions, most manufacturers take their upcoming models to the highway and test its durability and various other things.

Tata will continue to use the IMPACT 2.0 design philosophy on the all-new HBX. It will get a split headlamp set-up with a separate LED DRL on the top while the main headlamp cluster will be positioned closer to the ground. It will be similar to what see in the Tata Harrier. The grille will have the tri-arrow design, which is also available with the updated Nexon. Also, the new “Humanity Line” design strip is also expected in the HBX to keep the family look the same.

Hbx Hornbill Production Render Interior

At the rear, Tata will offer LED tail lamps and bold looking bumpers. The Tata HBX will look like a micro-SUV with roof rails and more such design highlights. The HBX will take on the cars like Maruti Suzuki S-Presso, Renault Kwid and Mahindra KUV100. On the inside, the all-new Tata HBX will get a long list of features. There will be a floating-type infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay system.

Hbx Hornbill Production Render 2

Tata has not revealed the engine line-up or transmission options for the upcoming car. It will get a 1.2-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine. This is the same engine that powers the Tata Tiago, Tata Altroz and the Tata Tigor. This unit makes about 85 Bhp of peak power and 115 Nm of peak torque. However, Tata may tweak the power output of the engine to make it more suitable for the weight of the HBX. The transmission options will include a 5-speed manual and a 5-speed AMT automatic transmission, the same as the Tata Tiago and the Tata Tigor. While it is highly unlikely, Tata may bring in the 1.2-litre turbo-petrol engine that is also available with the Nexon. However, only higher-end variants may get this option.

The brand is also working to launch a more powerful version of the Tata Altroz powered by the 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine and the Tata Gravitas, which is the seven-seater version of the Harrier in the market.