The Maruti Baleno is about to get a new rival in the form of the Tata 45X (Aquilla), which will launch around next year’s festive season
A test mule of the Tata 45X (aka Tata Aquilla) has been spotted on the Nilgiri mountains, near Ooty. The Maruti Baleno and Hyundai i20 rival could have been undergoing fine-tuning by Jayem Performance, which is based out of Coimbatore. The most premium hatchback from Tata Motors will launch in August next year.
The Tata 45X will become the company’s next model, after the Harrier, to be based on the IMPACT 2.0 design philosophy. It will smaller than the production version, but like the Harrier, could retain many design elements of the concept version. The car would have sleek headlights, a dynamic beltline, and a sporty roofline that sloes a bit towards the rear. The rear doors will get pillar-mounted handles, much like the Maruti Swift and the Chevrolet Beat.
The Tata 45X will be based on the manufacturer’s Advanced Modular Platform (AMP). It will be powered by an all-new, BSVI-compliant 1.2-litre naturally aspirated three-cylinder petrol engine and a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel unit. The hatchback could be sold with a Maruti SHVS-like mild hybrid system to boost the fuel mileage of the Maruti Baleno rival.
The petrol engine will come mated to a five 5-speed manual transmission and the diesel version will be sold with a 6-speed manual gearbox. A dual-clutch automatic gearbox could be sold on the petrol model.
The Tata 45X (Aquilla) will be competing with highly successful models like the Maruti Baleno, Hyundai Elite i20, Honda Jazz, and Volkswagen Polo. The 45X is expected to enjoy an advantage over the rivals due to the more modern platform and engine options. The optional dual-clutch automatic transmission will be another benefit.
The Tata 45X (Aquilla) will be a successor of the Tata Bolt, which has been a dud seller for the company. Prices of the Maruti Baleno rival have high chances to start between INR 5-5.25 lakh (ex-showroom).