Auto Expo 2020: Tata Motors bets big on SUVs and EVs

From the company’s smallest SUV HBX to an EV version of the classic Sierra, Tata Motors has taken the Auto Expo 2020 by storm.

At the Auto Expo 2020, underway in Noida, the Tata Motors has set up an impressive line-up. The leading Indian automobile manufacturer showcased 12 passenger vehicles, following the Impact Design 2.0.

Here’s all you need to know about Tata Motors’ line-up at Auto Expo 2020.

Tata HBX

This is Tata’s smallest SUV to date, and the version showcased at the 2020 Auto Expo is very close to production. This H2X concept was previewed at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show and this is an extension of the same. When launched, it shall be positioned below the Tata Nexon as a small car. This will be a petrol-only car at present.

The HBX will be the second Tata product, which will use the brand’s ALFA platform after the Altroz and is following the same design strategy. The headlamps of the SUV have been divided into two parts, with the main headlight housed at the bottom of the bumper with the DRL’s being housed at the top.

On the side, the SUV has very aggressive lines which merge into square wheel arches giving the car a very aggressive styling. The HBX measures 3,480 mm in length, 1,635 mm in height and 2,450 mm between the wheels. This makes the size similar to a Maruti Swift, but the HBX is taller to give it the SUV stance.

The car will be powered by an 87 PS 1.2-litre, three-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine, similar to the Tiago and Tigor. The five-speed manual transmission is also expected to be carried over. The car will take on the Mahindra KUV100 NXT. At the moment, Tata is tight-lipped on when the HBX could see the light of day.

Tata Sierra EV Concept

Tata Motors has decided to delve into its history for Auto Expo 2020. It resurrected an old-time favourite Sierra, which was originally sold in the 1990s. This year, Tata showcased a concept Sierra, which is an electric vehicle. The SUV is based on the Altroz ALFA platform and copies some design elements from the original Sierra.

Its curved rear-side windows are carried over, but the canopy is made of glass. The original Sierra had three doors and Tata has worked hard to ensure the same is carried forward. The right side of the car has no rear door, while the left side has a sliding door, which is disguised using a glass area and B-pillar.

The concept also has a lounge-like seating area with a rear bench and a front swivel, which can be turned around to face the rear passengers. Tata has not given any details about the powertrain of the car or when it could launch.

Tata Hexa Safari Edition

Another throwback from Tata, the Safari was originally launched in 1998, and continued to be manufactured in different trims until it was badged the Safari Storme in 2012.

The Hexa is being given a BS-VI compliant version of the existing 2.2-litre, four-cylinder ‘Varicor’ turbo-diesel engine and 4x4 only drivetrain.

This edition will be available in the 156 PS, and 400 NM performance trim, which shall be mated to a six-speed manual and automatic transmission.

Tata has not stated the price of this SUV or when it shall be launched in India as of now.

2020 Tata Harrier

The Harrier has been given some interesting touches, which makes it a more desirable SUV. The 2020 Harrier comes with a 2.0-litre Kryotec BS6 diesel engine, which will now make 172 PS power and 350 Nm of torque. This has been mated to a six-speed automatic transmission gearbox sourced from Hyundai to make the car easier to drive on those long drives.

Not just the engine and gearbox, the 2020 Harrier also gets a panoramic sunroof, a six-way adjustable driver seat, auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror, and two-tone diamond-cut 17-inch alloy wheels to just make the SUV stand out even more. It will also get a Calypso Red paint shade and the wing mirrors have been redesigned for better visibility.

Considering safety, ESP has been made standard across the range and dual airbags, ABS, and EBD have also been made standard features across the range. Buyers interested in buying this SUV can pre-book the car for Rs 30,000.

Tata Gravitas

This SUV will become Tata’s new flagship SUV, replacing the Hexa. The Gravitas made its debut at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show as the Buzzard. This SUV is based on the Harrier and has a larger overhang to accommodate the extra row of seats while keeping the same wheelbase.

The SUV also has a stepped roof at the rear and larger windows to make passengers in the rear, comfortable. Access to the third row is from a single touch-operated folding middle row. On the outside, the main difference from the Harrier is visible at the rear where the Gravitas has a more upright tailgate and differently styled tail lamps.

The black strip between the tail lamps cluster is the same while the rear bumper is also unique to the Gravitas. It shares the same engine and gearbox as the 2020 Harrier and the output figures are also identical.

Tata Altroz EV

Another Tata car to be launched before the end of 2020 is the Altroz. Electric vehicles are the future and Tata has left no stone unturned to ensure it is ahead of the game.

It launched the Nexon EV just last week, and now it showcased the Altroz EV, just two weeks after the car was launched on January 22.

This car was also first showcased at the Geneva Auto Show in 2019 and the Auto Expo version is almost a production-ready. From the outside, both the cars look nearly identical with the main difference being in the tweaked front end and a different set of alloys.

On the interior, the gear lever makes way for a centre armrest-mounted rotary control to control driving modes. Powering this car is an IP67 rated dust and waterproof battery pack, which can deliver a driving range of 300 km on a single charge.

(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)