Tata’s answer to the Maruti Suzuki Baleno and Hyundai Elite i20 is taking shape slowly
Tata’s stall at the 2018 Auto Expo was a very exciting place to be, the company had a lineup of future cars which sure got us all excited. While the H5X Hyundai Creta-rivalling SUV took the centre stage, a light-brown large hatchback inside a glass box also took our fancy - Tata calls it the 45X concept. We now have exclusive spy shots of the car being tested on the outskirts of Thane.
It’s clear that it is the 45X under all that camouflage, that window line which dips under the ORVM and rises sharply towards the rear is a cut-copy-paste from the concept car. Also noticeable is how Tata has kept the rear door design clean by integrating the rear door handle on the C-pillar, like the newMaruti Suzuki Swift. The kink near the taillamp is also prominent, but not as much as on the concept. It can be assumed that the final product will look very similar to the concept, the Nexon has raised our expectations from Tata.
The photos also manage to give us a little peek inside, the instrument cluster gets two analogue dials surrounding a digital driver information display. Our spy also told us that one of the test mules (yes, there were more than one on test - maybe with different engines?) also had a floating centre multimedia screen like the Nexon, we are not sure if this is a temporary solution or the final design. The interior is certainly one place where the 45X will not be as fancy as the concept - Tata went to town on the concept with a wide multimedia display which stretched almost the whole length of the dashboard, had a racecar-like steering wheel and a full glass roof.
The Tata 45X’s production model will be the second product Tata launches in 2019, after the production version of the H5X compact-SUV. The 45X will debut the company’s Impact 2.0 design philosophy for hatchbacks, which is a more dynamic and tougher take on the company’s evolving design. While Tata has not confirmed which engines will power the 45X, we reckon it could use the ones from the Nexon - a turbocharged 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder petrol and a turbocharged 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder diesel.
The 45X will be the first car to built on the company’s new ALFA (Agile Light Advanced Flexible) platform (previously called the AMP or Advanced Modular Platform), the same platform will also underpin a future Tata offering in the same category as the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and the Honda City.