Tata HBC or Hornbill has created a lot of buzz in our country and for all the right reasons. It was first showcased in concept form at the Geneva Auto Show in 2019. Since then, its test mules have been spied testing on Indian roads on countless occasions but so far, the carmaker has refrained from making any official announcement regarding the Hornbill. But now, a media report suggests that the homegrown carmaker has started production of the HBX. If the reports are true, it shouldn’t be long when we will get to see its production-ready avatar without any camouflage!
The HBX is expected to be equipped with the same 1.2L Revotron petrol engine that powers the Tata Altroz. This naturally aspirated engine churns out 86PS of power and 115 Nm of peak torque. The powertrain will be mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox and we expect to see it being offered with an AMT unit as well. There are no talks of a diesel offering right now, however, Tata may launch one later.
The design language in recent models of Tata is aggressive. Similarly, the HBX design is expected to be aggressive. It is based on Tata’s impact 2.0 design philosophy. The mini compact SUV has all the normal SUV features, an upright stance, a huge grille. We can see that the split headlamp setup is similar to the Harrier and Safari. The LED DRLs double up as the turn indicators. Based on some spy shots, Tata has toned down the ruggedness of the SUV a bit. However, it still retains its butch character. This is a very unique design in this segment and is sure to grab a ton of attention.
Now coming to the most important point, the pricing strategy of HBX will be aggressive. It will be priced under Altroz in the line-up. The price is expected to be between ₹4.5L-7.5L. The Renault Kiger and the Nissan Magnite have already created a price segment for themselves with the price they offer. Their sales numbers have only kept moving northwards since their launch and the pricing has played a key role in making them a success.
Renault and Nissan have proved that a good SUV need not have a huge price tag and consumers are more likely to choose a product that delivers value for their money. If the HBX lives up to the rumoured price and features, it is sure to attract a majority of consumers who are in the market for a budget compact SUV.