The Tata HBX was originally supposed to launch by end of this year but the ongoing coronavirus scare could postpone the launch to the beginning of next year.
The Tata HBX concept was certainly one of the most important cars at Tata’s stall at the 2020 Auto Expo. And although it might have been overshadowed by the fancy Tata Sierra Concept, it is the HBX that we should be looking at more importantly. Tata had said that the HBX Concept was 97% production ready and we even reported to you with the spy shots of the HBX on test recently. Tata has now confirmed that the final, production-spec mini-SUV, based on the HBX, will see its launch in FY2021 (between April 2020 – March 2021).
The Tata HBX was originally supposed to launch by the end of this year but this ongoing coronavirus pandemic might just push the launch the car to next year. We also expect that the HBX will be the first car to debut Tata’s direct-injection version of the 1.2-litre turbo-petrol engine. The base engine option on the HBX will be the 1.2-litre, naturally-aspirated petrol also found in the Tiago, Tigor and Altroz but the turbo-petrol engine could be offered on the higher-spec models.
The Tata HBX is the second car to be based on the ALFA platform after the Altroz premium hatchback. It measures 3,840mm in length, 1,822mm in width and 1,635mm in height, and has a wheelbase of 2,450mm. To put this size in perspective, the HBX is roughly the size of a Maruti Suzuki Swift, only slightly wider and quite a bit taller on account of being an SUV. The squared-off wheel arches and strong belt line give the SUV a very imposing stance. It even borrows some styling cues from the Harrier like the split headlamp design and Tata’s new ‘Humanity grille’.
The interiors of the HBX Concept at the Auto Expo also looked pretty close to production. In fact, the design is pretty much similar to what we have seen on the Altroz and the new Nexon. In terms of features, the HBX will get a part-digital instrument cluster, automatic climate control and a free-standing touchscreen for the infotainment system.
As for the gearbox options, the engine is expected to be mated with either a 5-speed manual or an AMT gearbox. There will be no diesel engine on offer due to Tata’s decision to axe all small-capacity diesel engines from its line-up. The HBX is based on the ALFA architecture and this platform has been designed with electrification in mind. Inevitably, the Tata HBX will thus see an all-electric version in the future, likely within two years after the petrol-powered HBX goes on sale.
The prices for the HBX are expected to be in the range of Rs 4.5 lakh to Rs 7.5 lakh (ex-showroom). At this price point, the Tata HBX will be up against the Maruti Suzuki Ignis and the Mahindra KUV100. With the introduction of the HBX, Tata Motors will have an extensive line-up of SUVs, including the flagship three-row Tata Gravitas, which is also set to be launched later this year.