Tata Motors was originally slated to launch the Hornbill HBX micro SUV in India by the end of this year. The COVID-19 pandemic and the disruption it brought in its wake seems to have delayed the Hornbill HBX’s India launch. The micro SUV will be launched in India during May 2021, which is about 6 months from now, according to a Team-BHP report. The Tata Hornbill HBX micro SUV was showcased at the 2020 Indian Auto Expo as a concept and test mules of the same have been spotted numerous times in and around the Tata Motors factory in Pune. Here are a couple of renders that show what the production version of the Hornbill HBX could look like.
The Hornbill HBX is expected to be sold in petrol and electric trims, with the electric variant getting launched later. The petrol engine powering the Hornbill could be the 1.2 liter-3 cylinder Revotron naturally aspirated unit with 84 Bhp-115 Nm outputs. Tata Motors is also expected to offer higher trims of the micro SUV with the Nexon’s 1.2 liter turbocharged petrol engine with 100 Bhp-140 Nm outputs, which is also the state of tune that the Altroz premium hatchback is likely to soon receive. Manual and AMT options are likely to be offered on the Hornbill HBX. The micro SUV is expected to take on the Mahindra KUV100 and the Maruti Ignis in terms of pricing and positioning.
Tata Motors is known for its sturdily built cars. Both the Nexon and Altroz has bagged 5 star ratings in Global NCAP crash tests. Expect the Tata HBX Hornbill to also be sturdily built, and this could be a major selling point for the new micro SUV. Twin airbags, ABS, reverse parking sensors, seat belt reminder and speed alerts are expected to be the standard safety features on the Hornbill HBX. In terms of other key features, a touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a multi-speaker stereo, 60:40 split seats, wide opening doors and a high-set seating position are likely on the new micro SUV.
Young, first time car buyers will be a major segment that Tata Motors will be targeting the Hornbill HBX at. In keeping with this approach, the micro SUV is expected to get a range of personalization options at the dealership level. In fact, the Maruti Ignis is a highly customizable car and the Tata Hornbill HBX will have to match this aspect. The electric variant of the Hornbill is expected to be launched by the end of 2021, or early 2022. The Hornbill Electric is likely to be one of the most affordable electric cars in Tata Motors’ line up. It’ll get a CVT automatic gearbox driving the front wheels. What remains to be seen if whether Tata Motors will give the Hornbill Electric the same kind of performance that the Nexon Electric SUV offers. Prices of the Tata Hornbill HBX Electric are likely to start from under Rs. 10 lakh.