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New Tata SUV planned to fill gap between Nexon and Harrier – Sedan cancelled

At the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, Tata Motors showcased a new sedan concept called E-Vision. This resulted in new reports claiming Tata to be developing a new sedan to take on the likes of Honda City and Maruti Ciaz. But, the growing demand of SUVs, and the dying demand for sedans, has resulted in the canning of the Tata sedan project.

Instead, Tata Motors will be launching yet another SUV. Yes, one more SUV. A completely new SUV which will sit above the Nexon, but below the Harrier in the company line-up. Called Blackbird internally, the project has just been green signalled. And it comes at the cost of the sedan, which is now cancelled.

Digitally rendered image of coupe SUV based on Harrier.

Research and consumer data clearly revealed that it was SUVs which were more in demand. Nexon is a sub 4 meter SUV which is priced in Rs 6-11 lakhs while Harrier is a full sized SUV which is priced in the range of Rs 13-17 lakhs. In between the two, there is a huge price gap. And it is this gap, which Tata intends to fulfill with Blackbird.

In this gap, it could have been a sedan, to take on Maruti Ciaz, or a SUV to take on Hyundai Creta. Sales data and consumer preference clearly show that it is the SUVs which are enjoying more demand. Thus Tata Motors decided to go ahead with the SUV, and not with sedan.

At the 2018 Auto Expo, Tata Motors had teased a total of six new cars (seen in the video above, starting from 7 second mark). 3 of them are based on the Alfa platform, and 3 are based on the Omega Arc platform. Compared to the latter, the former is a low cost option. This is the reason more expensive cars will be based on Omega Arc, while less expensive ones will be based on Alfa. For example, Harrier, upcoming H7X Buzzard SUV are based on Omega Arc, while upcoming Hornbill, Altroz are based on the Alfa platform.

The new Tata Blackbird SUV will be built on the Alfa platform, and not on the Omega Arc platform – to keep costs in check. It was technically not possible to develop a SUV in the Rs 8-13 lakh range based on the Omega Arc platform, and thus Tata Motors decided to go ahead and build the SUV on Alfa platform.

Engine options are not yet revealed. But expect the Blackbird SUV to be powered by same petrol and diesel engine options which are on offer with Nexon, but in a more powerful state of tune. Expect the concept Blackbird SUV to make debut as a concept at the 2020 Auto Expo in Feb next year, while launch could take place by 2021.

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