Around a decade back, hatchbacks were the most popular segment in India. A little later, the sub-4 meter sedan segment blossomed which was then followed by the sub-4 meter SUV segment. Of late though, the market has been experiencing a sales slowdown. One segment which is still showing good growth is the SUV segment.
The popularity of SUVs has grown all over the world in the past few years and India is under the same spell too. For the same, several manufacturers are now focusing on SUV instead of other segments. One such manufacturer is Tata, which recently has gone through a big makeover in terms of car design and overall quality. Among the several upcoming cars from Tata, the Blackbird SUV is one of the lesser known ones about which much information is not available yet. The render below shows how the SUV could look like in its production form.
Designed by our in-house graphics wizard Vipin Vathoopan, this render hints towards the possible design of the Hyundai Creta rivalling Tata Blackbird. Tata actually had plans to make a C-segment sedan based on the E-Vision concept which would rival the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and Honda City among others. However, taking note of the recent buyer inclination towards SUVs, the company shelved their sedan plans and instead began working on the Blackbird SUV. This SUV will rival the likes of the Hyundai Creta, Nissan Kicks and the upcoming Kia Tusker (SP2i) among others.
Tata showcased a number of its upcoming cars at the 2019 Geneva motor show this year including the Altroz premium hatchback and the Hornbill micro SUV concept among others. However, the Blackbird has not been shown even in concept form yet but it is expected that the 2020 Delhi Auto Expo may be the venue where we get to see it in concept form. The render above, therefore, shows a possible design of the SUV to give you an idea of how it may turn out to be. It has been designed on the lines of Tata’s IMPACT 2.0 design philosophy which can be seen in the way the front headlights and the LED DRLs have been arranged.
The Tata Blackbird will be built upon the new ALFA (Agile Light Flexible Advanced) platform by Tata which will underpin several new cars form the company. This includes the Altroz, Altroz EV, and the Hornbill micro SUV. Going by this render, the SUV looks quite alluring and unlike anything we have seen yet in the compact SUV segment. Note that this render does not show the concept version of the Blackbird but rather the production-spec version. Talking about the design, the C pillar of the SUV features a similar blacked out pattern as seen on the Harrier. The silver roof rails and skid plate at the front give it a rugged look.
As we mentioned already, currently there is no information out regarding the SUV apart from its name (Blackbird is its codename by the way), segment and expected launch. Therefore, talking about the possible engines on it would be a long throw. But if we were to speculate, we would say that it could get the Nexon’s 1.5-litre diesel engine to power it, though it will be tuned for more power here. Moreover, Tata is reportedly developing a new 1.6-litre petrol engine for its present and future vehicle. If that turns out to be true, this new engine will be found under the hood of the blackbird for sure. Transmission duties could be done by the new DCT unit which will be introduced on the Altroz apart from a regular manual gearbox.
As for the launch of the Blackbird SUV, it could happen sometime in 2021. It would come with a good set of features and could also come with a few segment leading ones. Tata has been generous in equipping their cars with great features of late (Harrier, Altroz) and hence the same could be expected on the Blackbird. It pricing would be in the same ballpark as of the Hyundai Creta, though Tata could price it so as to undercut the Creta slightly.