The Tata HBX micro crossover has entered an advanced phase of testing and we will be seeing quite a lot of spy shots 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. The new picture partially reveals Tata HBX’s front-end styling, paired with details already gleaned from seeing earlier test mules doing the round. More about Tata HBX spotted again below.
The new photo confirms that the Tata HBX will carry heavily Harrier-inspired styling, with a prominent split headlamp look. It doesn’t look too different from the show car unveiled at the Auto Expo 2020. The vertically split headlamp design is inspired by the Harrier, while the thick, piano black horizontal slat resembles the one on the Nexon. The front grille is also vertically split, and its lower portion will sport bi-arrow elements, the same as Nexon.
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 centre 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 production car seems to have lost the very aggressive skid plates from the concept, replaced with a more practical but still full-bodied bumper. Some unique touches to the HBX’s high-roof profile are the slightly sloping roofline and a rising window-line that ends in a heavily-styled C-pillar.
Engine and Transmission
The HBX is expected to be powered by the same 1.2-litre petrol engine as seen on the Altroz. This makes with 84bhp at 6,000rpm and 113Nm at 3,300rpm. This is expected to be paired with a 5-speed manual and an AMT. It is based on the ALFA structure, same as the Altroz.
The Tata HBX will compete against rivals such as the Mahindra KUV100 and the Maruti Suzuki Ignis. It is expected to be priced from around Rs 5 lakh when it launches. The HBX was expected to debut during the festive season but Tata Motors seems to have deferred its new launch in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. We now expect to see the HBX on our roads by early next year. Maruti Suzuki Ignis created a segment of its own and has been doing quite well. A safer option from Tata will only make the segment standards higher. Tata will have to price their product competitively to stand against Maruti in India.