Snapshot – Tata Motors clearly hasn’t given up on the Aria crossover, its flagship vehicle that has been lagging behind at the hustings right from its launch in 2011. The Hexa is the Aria’s latest shot at turning things around, and the new crossover features a slightly tweaked top hat design, with major drivetrain and interior improvements to match. When launched in 2016, the Hexa will feature the most torque on a passenger car with the Tata badge. This is one among the many significant improvements that will be rolled out. Here are five things you need to know about the Hexa.
Make no mistake, the Hexa is an Aria with new clothes. The new crossover ditches the curvy front end of the Aria for a more butch look. This effect is brought about by a new front fascia, replete with new headlamps, a revised grille in a honeycomb design, a re-profiled front bumper and most importantly a new bonnet that give the Hexa a squatter stance. At the rear the X’mas tree tail tamps are replaced with horizontal units, something akin to what’s seen on the Zest. It’s a dramatic new styling effect that Tata Motors has been able to create despite retaining the top-hat of the Aria. In this sense, the Hexa is one of the biggest mid life makeovers for a car in India.
The 2.2 liter Varicor turbo diesel engine on the Hexa gets a bump up in power and torque. Peak power has gone up to 154 Bhp from 148 Bhp, while peak torque is much more stronger, at 400 Nm, when compared to 320 Nm on the current Aria. These changes are aimed at making the Hexa much quicker off the block and giving it a clear edge over the competition, which is yet to push beyond the 350 Nm mark. Tata Motors also has a twin turbo version of the 2.2 liter diesel motor, one that could set the bar even higher with outputs of 175 Bhp-400 Nm.
The transmission decides how an engine’s performance is translated to the real road. In case of the Hexa, Tata Motors has decided to revisit gearing. The five speed manual unit of the Aria will be replaced by a six speeder. Another significant addition to the Hexa will be a 6 speed automatic gearbox, the first such transmission on a Tata passenger car. Both gearboxes seek to maximize the usable outputs of the 2.2 liter diesel engine. With the increased torque and the new gearboxes, the Hexa is expected to be much more sprightly than the Aria has ever been.
Tata Motors will take a leaf out of its British luxury SUV making acquisition, Land Rover, and endow the Hexa with a terrain response feature. The terrain response system will tweak the all wheel drive system of the Hexa to suit different terrains. This tweaking will happen automatically, which is expected to give the crossover added capability off the road. Terrain response is soon becoming a hot feature on luxury SUVs sold in India and such a feature on the Hexa will be a unique one for its segment, making it the first-of-its-kind feature offered at an affordable price point.
The Hexa seeks to deliver comfort befitting of a flagship vehicle, which is why Tata Motors has endowed the SUV with 6 captain seats. This seating layout has a single aim in mind, make the capacious innards of the Hexa as comfortable as possible for its occupants. The Aria is already known for its good ride quality across multiple terrains and the Hexa aims to build upon this strength. With better fit and finish levels on the interiors, the new crossover promises to be the plushest Tata car ever.