Update – 23rd November 2015
Today, Tata Motors revealed that the official name of their new hatchback will be Zica. Tata Zica hatchback will be unveiled on 1st December, and will be launched in India in the second week of January 2016.
Update – 18th November 2015
Set to make official debut in the first week of December 2015, Tata Motors continues testing the Kite sedan. The latest spy shots were clicked by Team-BHP member ‘createrkid’.
A few days ago, Tata Motors also revealed a short video about their #madeofgreat campaign with Lionel Messi in Spain. You can watch the video here.
Update – 05-11-2015
The Kite has been spied once again and the latest spyshots offer a better view of the dashboard design. The multi-function steering wheel is the same unit which is found in Bolt and Zest but the dashboard has fresh appeal. The neat centre console houses AC vents, a provision for a touchscreen infotainment system, the usual control knobs and cubby holes. The gear lever too is borrowed from the Bolt/Zest twins.
Tata has big plans for the car and it has roped the legendary footballer Lionel Messi as the brand ambassador. The car was teased in a TVC featuring Messi.
Images – Carwale.com
Update – 3.11.2015:
In what can be described as a great marketing move, Tata Motors has roped in the legendary Argentine fooballer Lionel Messi as its brand ambassador to promote the upcoming Tata Kite. The popular star has already featured in a TVC which teased the Kit’s youthful headlamp and smiley grille.
The hatchback would carry a new name when it enters the market. Expect new petrol and diesel engines on board there is also a possibility for a diesel AMT variant. Close observation of the TVC reveals that the hatchback receives upmarket detailing for the headlamps, a honeycomb meshed grille, clear lens indicator on taillight cluster and sleek door handles.
The platform will also spawn a new sub-4 metre compact sedan that will sit below the Zest.
Original article – 16.07.2015:
Tata Kite hatchback (codename) has been spotted testing by Rushlane reader in Ahmadabad. The test mule sports production ready headlamps, taillights and grille, hinting that it may be launched sooner than later.
Based on the heavily refurbished version of aging Indica eV2’s XO platform, Kite will also spawn a sub-Zest compact sedan which will take the baton from Indigo eCS. The duo will be produced at Tata Motors’ Sanand facility alongside Nano. This move supports the Nano vendors whose expected quantum of business was not met due to lackluster sales of the small city car.
While all the prototypes spotted so far have been fully camouflaged, we have a basic idea on how the Kite hatchback will look like. For starters, the front fascia has a familial resemblance but the individual design elements have a modern feel. The honeycomb meshed smiley grille is sandwiched by sleek peeled back headlamps. Bumper houses a wide air intake and circular fog lights.
The silhouette of Maruti Celerio rival looks like a smaller Zest with an unmistakable Tata identity but the rear fascia treads along a new design direction. New combination lights, roof spoiler with brake light, a large curvy windshield and a bumper with integrated red foglight (below the license plate enclosure) round off the exterior design.
Previous spyshots have given us a sneak peak of the Kite’s dashboard design which is not seen in any of the Tata’s before. The signature steering wheel is derived from Zest/Bolt twins but that’s where the similarities end. The neat dashboard is composed of high-mounted centre AC vents, simple centre console with audio system and AC controls and a decent sized glove box on the passenger side. Going by Tata’s reputation for interior space, we can expect the Indica replacement to lead the segment with rear seat leg room.
Engines and transmissions
Though Tata Motors has not officially confirmed the powertrain options, several media reports suggest that Kite duo would be powered by new petrol and diesel engines. The petrol candidate is expected to be a 1.2-litre three-cylinder aluminium block motor instead of Bolt/Zest’s 1.2-litre four-cylinder cast iron block turbocharged motor. Power output would be around 75 PS which should be adequate for the compact hatchback.
Diesel engine is reported to be a 1.05-litre three-cylinder motor which was first showcased at the 2012 Auto Expo. The new motor would have its power output in the vicinity of 63 PS. A counter balancer shaft will be employed to cancel out secondary vibrations generated due to three-cylinder layout.
Both engines will be available with a standard 5-speed manual transmission while it remains to be seen whether an AMT will be offered or not.
Considering that Tata Kite would be catering to a price sensitive segment, priority is expected to be given to a lower price tag rather than features. Having said that, top-end variants of Kite are likely to offer dual airbags, ABS, power windows, alloy wheels, fog lights, music system with Bluetooth connectivity, powered ORVMs, etc.
Tata Kite hatchback will be pitted against fellow small hatchbacks such as Hyundai Grand i10, Maruti Celerio, Chevrolet Beat, Honda Brio and the like. Renault’s upcoming Kwid micro crossover can also be considered as a rival since the price range will be overlapping.
Since Tata Kite hatchback is based on an existing platform, pricing is expected to be aggressive. Targeting personal car buyers above Nano GenX and below Bolt, the new Tata small car is likely to carry a price range of INR 3.5-5.5 lakhs (ex-showroom).