Tata Motors' plans for 2015
While the Bolt and the Zest are creating headlines for Tata, the carmaker is busy developing another set of hatchback/compact sedan siblings. Tata continues with its penchant for avian names. Post Project Falcon, the development of a new set of hatchbacks and sedans codenamed Kite is underway. The resulting two vehicles will replace the Indica eV2 and the Indigo eCS.
The Kite hatchback is said to be an evolution of the current Indica platform, but with a completely new top-hat that reflects Tata's new design philosophy. That said, expect the Kite to be a more serious transformation of the Indica, than the Bolt was of the Vista. The design will be inspired largely from the Megapixel concept that Tata showed back in 2012. It will feature design elements now characteristic of Tata like the diamond window, rising belt line and the slingshot line that flows through the side profile of the body, into the tail lights and merges into the tailgate, creating a prominent bulge in the bootlid. The tail lights will be stubby, wrap-around type while the front will see Megapixel-like elongated headlamps that merge into a honeycomb mesh grille. Unlike the Megapixel though, the Kite won't be a tall design. Instead, it will be lower slung and its silhouette will be in a shape and size similar to the Honda Brio or the Ford Figo. The Kite sedan, on the other hand, will have its tail section inspired from the Zest and will have a shaper rake angle for the rear windshield to maintain the design proportions.
The Kite hatch will take after the likes of the Brio and Figo
The interiors will be sporty and will make generous use of satin-finish inserts and the upholstery will have a dual-tone combition. The instrumentation will have a white backlight and will feature a multi-information display that is hooked on to fuel and trip computers. Expect the Kite hatch and sedan to be feature-rich like their older siblings. Under the hood will be the existing 1.2-litre turbopetrol Revotron engine from the Bolt and Zest, while the diesel will come in the form of a new 1.0-litre three-cylinder mill that uses Tata's Dicor technology. From what we have heard on the test mules, the engine seems to be a noisy operator at this stage but most of the noise should be muted by the time the production-ready prototypes hit the road.
The Kite will feature 14-inch wheels
The Kite hatch and sedan are expected to hit production by the third or fourth quarter of 2015. Alongside the Kite siblings, which will sit below the Bolt and Zest, Tata is also said to be working on another premium hatchback and sedan set that will be positioned against the likes of the Honda Jazz and City. Unlike the Kite and Falcon projects, this set will be based on a completely new platform and will aim at a more premium positioning.
The tail lights and headlights for the Kite will be inspired from the Megapixel concept
Speaking of premium, Tata plans to go back to its roots and bring out a fresh set of SUVs. This time around, the company is said to be working on two SUVs that are based on the Freelander platform. Alongside these, a new premium pick-up is also under development for the export markets. This is being developed at the carmaker's global development centres with the help of Land Rover. There is also a smaller Aria-based crossover in the works which will be positioned above the Nexon compact SUV that is slated for a 2017 launch. Looks like Tata's revival plan is afoot.
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