Meet the smallest Tata which flaunts the new “Humanity line” design philosophy that is shared with likes of Harrier and Altroz. The most interesting part of the HBX concept is that it is very close to production and Pratap Bose says that the concept is about 90% close to the production variant and are very excited about it.
The micro-SUV also supposedly called the Tata Hornbill has a very muscular design language and looks much more than it is. At 3840mm, it is the smallest offering from the fresh lot of Tata and underpins the ALFA platform which is also the backbone of India’s safest hatchback, the Altroz.
It is a sub-four meter SUV and thus is a very short and supposedly nimble car. It has a tall boy stance and has the muscle to not look bad even in this body style. The beefed-up shoulder lines and fender curves help it make a mark on the roads despite being a micro-SUV. The concept that has been showcased at the 2020 Auto Expo has been tastefully bumped up to look good with knobby off-road ready tyres and a few add-ons that help in off-roading.
The front fascia is similarly designed as the Harrier and headlight assembly is neatly integrated into the bumper. The front skid plate comes up and has vents in it to maximize its appeal. Another notable feature is that Tata has gone with minimal chrome inserts and stuck with gloss black components. This intensifies the overall look of the Hornbill.
The sleek LED DRLs align perfectly at the horizon of the frontal design and flows into the muscular front fenders. The bonnet has a vent on the passenger side and that will the few bits that won’t make it to production. But word has it that Tata might provide certain bits as accessories or add-ons which also adds to the modification potential of this SUV. The silver cladding inserts follow over to the sides as well with the bottom of the doors flaunting them neatly.
The concept also gets a roof-mounted carriage that looks very good. Dimensionally the Hornbill/HBX is 3840 mm long, 1822 mm wide and 1635 mm high and has a wheelbase of 2450 mm. It is as long as the new Hyundai i10 Nios but with a more muscular and taller stance. Tata has also gone with a very smart internal setup that uses thinner seats and flatters floor to maximize occupant space.
The HBX concept will have only a 1.2-litre three-cylinder naturally aspirated engine which is also shared with the Tiago and Tigor. It produces 84.82 bhp (It just sounds too cool!) and will be coupled to a 5-Speed manual transmission. Tata has positioned the HBX or Hornbill below the Nexon and thus makes it the smallest SUV in the new Tata line-up. An all-electric variant is also in the pipeline and will see the light of day in about two years. It locks horns with the likes of Mahindra KUV100 and Ford Ecosport. The HBX concept will here in the showrooms soon and will be mostly priced from north of Rs. 5.5 lakhs and expect to see one in flesh as soon as May 2020.