The smallest UV in Tata Motors’ stable is expected to be introduced in mid 2021
The Tata HBX micro crossover has entered advanced phase of testing and we will be seeing quite a lot of spyshots pouring in. The production-spec interior of the Maruti Ignis rival has been spied for the first time and from the looks of it, the design and layout remain faithful to the concept.
Tata HBX interior
The Tata HBX features an upright dashboard which aims to free up space for the front passengers. The stand-alone touchscreen infotainment system (similar to seen on Nexon) takes the center stage and steering wheel is a flat-bottomed three-spoke unit. The instrument console is not clearly visible but we expect it to be a digital unit like in the Tiago and Tigor.
The variant spied is equipped with a 5-speed manual gearbox as evident from the gear knob. We expect the HBX to be offered with an option of AMT as well. The tall seating position should offer good overall visibility from the cabin.
The previous spyshots reveal that the exterior too is a watered down version of the concept. Roughly speaking, the HBX looks like a baby Harrier and that is not a bad thing.
The Tata HBX is likely to share its powertrain lineup with the Tiago. This means, the entry level variants are expected to be powered by a naturally aspirated 1.2-liter petrol unit putting out 85 hp. A turbocharged version of this engine is expected to cater to the higher variants. We don’t think a diesel engine is on the cards for Tata’s smallest crossover.
Based on the Altroz’s ALFA platform, the HBX is expected to offer good crash safety. At the time of its showcase at the Auto Expo 2020, Tata had stated that they will aim for 5 star safety for HBX. If Tata HBX manages to achieve 5 star safety, it will be the 3rd Tata car to do so, and first in the segment in India.
Emerging micro-crossover segment
To be positioned between the Tigor and Nexon in Tata Motors’ growing portfolio, the HBX is expected to take the baton from Tiago as the new volume generator for the automaker. Gradually, the Indian B-hatchback segment is being overshadowed by crossovers with comparable footprint and price range.
The Mahindra KUV100 started it all and Maruti Ignis furthered the concept but this sub-segment is set to explode with an array of new models coming our way. In addition the Tata HBX which is slated to be introduced in mid 2021, this segment will witness the launch of Citroen CC21 and Hyundai AX1 (both are codenames) in the foreseeable future.
The Tata HBX will benefit from the ALFA architecture’s economies of scale. So, expect the pricing to be aggressive. Hatchbacks like the Maruti Swift and Hyundai Grand i10 Nios will be in the crosshairs.