Hatchbacks getting into crossover mode is something that seems to be a growing trend in the Indian car market. the flood gates opened up with Skoda India giving the Fabia the Scout treatment. Volkswagen India is expected to launch the Polo Cross, a jacked up-muscled up version of the Polo Cross hatchback. Now, we could have Tata Motors joining the fray with the Vista Cross, which is expected to be the production version of the Vista D90 Xtreme concept that the car maker showcased during the launch of the Vista D90 variant yesterday.
The Vista Cross, in production guise is expected to retain the 1.3 Liter Multijet turbo diesel engine found on the likes of the Vista D90 hatchback and the Manza sedan. This essentially means that the power and torque outputs could remain unchanged at 90 Bhp-200 Nm. The engine on the Vista Cross will retain the 5 speed manual gearbox. On the Vista D90 Xtreme concept though, the turbo diesel engine is tuned to output 104 Bhp with the gains in power coming by means of a new exhaust, an ECU remap and an optimized turbocharger.
The power bump up is said to be achieved by Tata’s engineers with inputs from Abarth, Fiat’s performance tuning division. Cosmetically, the Vista Cross is expected to look like a high riding hatchback, what with the suspension being jacked up by 25 mm. Apart from this, the Vista Cross gets butch looks with flared wheel arches, 16 inch alloy wheels, modified bonnet withvents, roof rails, cladding on the bumpers and finally, a tail gate mounted spare wheel. The Vista Cross is slated to hit production by the end of 2013, at a price about INR 80,000 higher than the Vista D90.
However, it remains to be seen if the car buyer will actually bite the bait and buy jacked hatchback like the Vista Cross when options like the Ford EcoSport and the Renault Duster are around. Tata Motors will have to play the pricing card well if they expect the Vista Cross to do well. An on road price well under INR 8 lakhs would be a good price for the diesel powered Vista Cross given its main selling points of butch looks, spacious interiors, great equipment levels(assuming that the kit is carried over from the Vista D90) and high ground clearance.