Tata Motor’s much-anticipated micro-SUV which has been speculated to be christened as the ‘Hornbill’ has been spotted road testing under heavy camouflage covers. The sub-compact UV based on the ALFA-ARC (Agile Light Flexible Advanced – Architecture) that made its debut on the Tata Altroz, is expected to hit the streets in its final-production-form around mid-2021 and rival the likes of the Mahindra KUV100, Maruti Suzuki S-Presso and the Ignis urban mini SUV.
The Hornbill has been spotted on the Mumbai-Pune expressway and even with camouflage stickers and paddings that intend to hide the cuts and crease line and the overall shape of the vehicle the Hornbill looks quite similar to the Tata HBX concept that was showcased at the 15th edition of the Auto Expo 2020 in Delhi early in 2020.
The Hornbill which is based on the HBX concept was earlier rumoured to have been slated to make its public debut in the production-ready avatar by the end of 2020 but, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the disruption of the supply chain, the launch window is likely to have been pushed to 2021. Speculations are that the Hornbill’s launch will follow the Tata Gravitas SUV which is essentially a 6/7 seat version of the Tata Harrier SUV.
In the recent spy shots, the test mule was seen with new design dual-tone alloy wheels which appear to be production-ready and could be around 14 or 15 inches in size, giving the micro-SUV a tall stance. Also, responsible for its butch looks is the brand’s latest ‘Humanity Line’ radiator grille and the new-generation, Impact 2.0 SUV design language with LED daytime running lights below the bonnet shutline and large headlamp units incorporated into the front bumper. The lower air intake also features the brand’s Tri-Arrow design similar to the one on the Nexon SUV. The Hornbill comes with a well-defined shoulder line and the rear door handle could be tucked behind the window area. The rear of the car features small taillamp units and is expected to get a multilayered bumper.
In the engine department, the Hornbill is expected to be powered by a 1.2-litre Revotorq turbocharged petrol engine that is expected to make 100 Hp of power and 150 Nm of torque matched to a 5-speed manual and an optional 5-speed AMT automatic unit. The Tata Hornbill is expected to be priced around the INR 5 lakh mark for the entry-level trim.