HBX, aka Hornbill, will be based on Tata Motors’ latest ALFA architecture
Tata Motors is planning to widen its range of UVs under its portfolio. This will start with the introduction of Gravitas, a seven-seat version of Harrier. The UV was initially slated to be launched in the current festive season, however, it has been pushed to early next year.
This will be followed by the brand’s entry-level UV in the market dubbed as HBX. Rumoured to be called Hornbill in its production avatar, the HBX was first shown as a near-production-ready concept at this year’s AutoExpo held in Greater Noida.
At the time, it was expected to be launched toward the end of this year, however new report suggests that the launch has been pushed to May 2021. The delay in launch by about 6 months is probably because of the outbreak of novel coronavirus which has affected many other automotive launch schedules.
Ever since the concept was presented at the biennial auto event, test mules of the upcoming subcompact UV had been spotted testing on numerous occasions. The latest spy video credit to Baba Bhuria, shows the mini UV getting tested in the Himalayas – on the Leh-Manali route.
Design-wise, Hornbill HBX is expected to carry similar exterior styling elements as shown in the concept earlier this year, although some changes are expected in the final production model. The overall silhouette of the mini crossover looks boxy with square-ish wheel arches and a well-defined belt line on its side profile.
The front is expected to look butch like its elder siblings with an aggressive bumper. It will receive LED headlamps with sleek LED DRLs on top just like Harrier. It will also feature Tata’s ‘Humanity Line’ front grille and signature tri-arrow design on the air dam just like in Nexon.
Rear profile will feature LED taillamps, a raked rear windscreen and a number of creases that lend a hint of sportiness. It will be the second model from Tata Motors to be built on the brand’s latest ALFA architecture after Altroz. It will follow the company’s IMPACT 2.0 design philosophy. Dimensions known from the concept reveal a length of 3840 mm, a width of 1822 mm and height of 1635 mm.
Expected Powertrain, Transmission Options
No word has been revealed in its engine specifications yet but we expect the 1.2-litre naturally aspirated engine from Tiago and Altroz to be offered as standard. This unit makes 85 bhp and 115 Nm of peak torque. Transmission duties will be carried out by a 5-speed manual as standard with the option of a 5-speed AMT gearbox.
Higher variants of the car might also receive a 1.2-litre Revotorq turbo petrol engine which is expected to produce 100 bhp and 150 Nm of peak torque. This similar state of tune is also expected to be offered in the upcoming Altroz Turbo.
Upon its launch, Tata HBX is expected to rival the likes of Maruti Suzuki S-Presso and Ignis. It will be priced cheaper than the Tiago, in the sub Rs 5 lakh segment (ex-showroom).