The country’s third-largest carmaker, Tata Motors, recently launched its newest CNG product, the Altroz i-CNG, in the country. The model became the first-ever car in India to feature twin-cylinder CNG technology. Now, after the success of this premium hatchback’s CNG iteration, the company is eyeing the launch of the CNG variant of its highly popular micro-SUV, the Punch. The company showcased the Punch i-CNG alongside the Altroz i-CNG at the Auto Expo 2023, and recently, an undisguised test mule of the same car has been spotted testing in the wild.
From the recent spy shot of the Tata Punch, it was noted that the test mule had a hidden badge on the right side of the PUNCH moniker. It also had the spare tire underneath the rear section of the car, as opposed to being in the rear boot, which is a dead giveaway that this vehicle is the CNG iteration of the model. The Punch i-CNG, just like the Altroz i-CNG, will get the same innovative twin-cylinder CNG technology developed by Tata Motors. In terms of power, it will also come equipped with the same 1.2L Revotron engine, generating a maximum power of 73.5 PS and a torque of 103 Nm, which is available in the Altroz i-CNG.
The twin cylinders will be placed below the baggage area, like the Altroz CNG, so that the valves and pipes are shielded from any harm under the load floor. Additionally, it will also have an enhanced rear body structure and a 6-point mounting system for the CNG tanks to provide additional rear crash safety. Most certainly, it will also come with the same industry-first advanced Single ECU, which helps in Direct Start in CNG mode and allows for jerk-free shifting between petrol and CNG modes.
In terms of safety measures, the Punch i-CNG will also feature a micro-switch to keep the car switched off during refueling, just like the Altroz i-CNG. The vehicle will also come equipped with thermal incident protection, which shuts off the CNG supply to the engine and releases petrol into the environment as a safety measure. Apart from these, the new Punch i-CNG will look mostly like the outgoing model, with the exception of some i-CNG badging on the sides, rear, and inside. Most likely the launch of this model will take place in the coming few months.
In other Tata Punch news, recently, a test mule of the Punch EV was also spotted being towed on a flatbed near the hill station Lonavala in Maharashtra. From the pictures, it was noted that there were no significant differences on the outside, but eagle-eyed viewers observed that this particular test mule had additional disc brakes in the rear. This option is not available in the ICE iteration of the Punch. It is believed that this extra braking equipment has been added to support the additional weight added by the heavy batteries and motors in the car. The report also stated that the test mule was missing a traditional exhaust system, which was also a big giveaway that this was an EV version of the Punch.
It is expected that the company will offer it with its Ziptron technology, which also powers the likes of the Tata Tiago EV and Nexon EV. There are multiple battery packs on offer that deliver different ranges. For the recently launched Tiago EV, the company offers the hatchback with a 24 kWh battery pack that delivers an MIDC-certified range of 315 km. And there is also a smaller 19.2 kWh battery pack available, which gets an MIDC-certified range of 250 km. Most likely, these numbers will be retained by the Tata Punch EV as well.