Auto companies selling different generations of the same car simultaneously is nothing new in India, and Tata has been doing so with the Indica for the past couple of years now. The Indica, Vista and Bolt, which launches in less than a week from now, are three generations of the same car that currently share space in the company’s product catalogue. This however is going to change soon, with Tata finally launching a replacement for the long-in-tooth Indica hatchback. The replacement codenamed ‘Kite’ is no secret and has been snapped out on test over the last several months.
Our sources close to Tata Motors tell us that the launch of the hatchback will take place in the second quarter of this year, against earlier speculative reports that stated a late 2015 launch. We are also told that Tata is using the previous generation Hyundai i10 as a benchmark product for the development of the new car. The company has been known to kit all its offerings with unmatched equipment levels in the past and the Kite will be no different. Tata will offer a segment first infotainment system on the top-end trims of the Kite, similar to what’s available on the Zest and Bolt, although sans a touch-screen. This is in line with the company’s ‘Horizonext’ strategy, with ‘ConnectNext’ as one of its pillars.
Powering the hatchback will be two all-new 1.05-liter diesel and 1.2-liter petrol engines. The 1.2-liter engine, according to our sources, will be a naturally aspirated version of the Revotron engine from the Bolt and Zest, with significant tweaks. This engine will have a power output of close to 72 BHP and torque output in the ballpark of 105 NM. Both these engines will be available with a manual and an AMT transmission, though it’s unclear if the AMT variants will be available at launch.
Like the Indica, the Kite too will spawn a sedan or a “CS” version that will launch towards the end of the year. This too has been spotted on test multiple times; however its design still remains under the wraps due to the use of heavy camouflaging on all test mules.
While there’s no word on the pricing of the Kite yet, we expect the petrol variants to start at Rs. 3.5 lakhs and the diesel variants at 4.10 lakhs (both prices ex-showroom New Delhi). The hatchback will take on the likes of the Maruti Celerio and WagonR when it hits the market in a few months.