Tata HBX will likely go on sale later this year in India and it could be powered by a 1.2-litre petrol engine with manual and AMT transmission choices
Tata Motors began 2021 with the launch of the Safari seven-seater SUV. It has helped in strengthening the brand’s SUV portfolio while adhering to a growing segment. The three-row Safari competes against MG Hector Plus and Hyundai Alcazar while the upcoming Mahindra XUV700 will also be its key competitor. The brand is expected to further widen its SUV range with a new model at the entry-level point.
Sitting below the Nexon compact SUV in the lineup, the Tata HBX is a micro SUV and it could go by the production name Hornbill. It will go up against Maruti Suzuki Ignis and Mahindra KUV NXT and it could be priced aggressively. The Tata HBX could cost between Rs. 5 lakh and Rs. 7 lakh (ex-showroom) and it derives design inspiration from the H2X and HBX concepts – showcased at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show and 2020 Auto Expo respectively.
The Tata HBX is expected to make its global premiere sometime in Nov-Dec month after the festive season as per a Tata Dealer. With a new product, the homegrown manufacturer could anticipate volumes from the mass market customers by capitalising on the positive buying sentiments that generally exist during year-end. The five-seater has already been spotted testing in production guise giving us a peek into the important details.
The exterior comprises split headlamps with sharp-looking LED Daytime Running Lights, clamshell shaped bonnet structure, wide central air inlet, prominent squared wheel arches, black side cladding, raked front windshield, busy bumper section, slightly sculpted tailgate, wraparound LED tail lamps, high-mounted stop lamp, newly designed alloy wheels, etc.
The interior of the Tata HBX will have several commonalities with the Tiago and Nexon. The equipment list boasts a multi-functional steering wheel with mounted controls, a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity in the top-end variants, and so on. As for the performance, a 1.2-litre petrol engine, already powering the Tiago and Altroz, could be utilised.
The turbocharged version of the same engine could be offered in the high-spec versions. A five-speed manual and an AMT transmission could be available with the HBX. It is the second model based on the ALFA (Agile Light Flexible Advanced) platform and could have a high safety rating as well, judging by the five-star rating received by the Altroz.