Tata Nexon is a compact SUV concept that was originally showcased at the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo, and is due for launch in India later in 2016. What is the Nexon for Tata Motors, and how can it redefine the Indian crossover market? Lets find out!
The Indian automobile market is a dynamic place to be in. While customers switched their preference from hatchbacks to compact sedans around 5 years back, there is now again a potential change in inclination of customer taste. Compact SUVs are the new trend in the Indian automotive scene. From the Ford EcoSport to the latest Maruti Vitara Brezza, all products in this segment are managing to clock-in respectable sales numbers, despite huge competition. And now, our home-grown manufacturer too is planning to have a share of the growing pie.
Tata Motors is planning to enter the most competitive compact SUV segment of the country with their newest weapon of choice, the Tata Nexon. This car made its first official appearance as a concept at the 2014 Auto Expo, and it surely attracted a lot of attention because of its modern and innovative design cues. We still have no official announcement about when this car will be launched in the Indian market, but reports point to a probable launch towards the end of 2016. These reports were further verified when Tata Motors again showcased a production-ready concept of the Nexon compact SUV at the 2016 Auto Expo.
This upcoming compact SUV will compete against the likes of the Ford Ecosport, Mahindra TUV300, and the recently launched Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza. Codenamed X104, the Nexon SUV will likely use the same platform which is shared with the Bolt hatchback and the Zest compact sedan, however, we do feel that the platform will be slightly modified to support the increased weight and enhanced proportions of the compact SUV. Rumors are that the upcoming SUV will take some of its design cues from the Land Rover Evoque, which definitely means that it will be one attractive looking compact SUV.
As far as its drivetrains are concerned, the Tata Nexon engine options will include a new 1.2 Litre, 3 cylinder unit, while there will also be a diesel variant on offer which will most probably source its power from a 1.5 Litre block. Both these engines will be paired to a 5 speed manual transmission while there will also be an automatic transmission on offer.
Update 11.02.2016:- We have updated this article with new images from the Auto expo and also some new information revealed by the company officials.
The Nexon compact SUV from Tata Motors, as already mentioned, will take some of its design cues from the Land Rover Evoque, which will likely make it one of the most eye-catching crossovers on offer in the Indian market. The front profile of the Tata Nexon is a mixture of urban design with aggressive and rugged character. The broad grille surrounded by large headlight assemblies gives the Nexon a bulbous face. The front bumper area too has been sculpted to make the car look a lot bigger than it actually is. Projector units in the headlamp have been aptly detailed with LED Daytime Running Lamps (DRLs) to give the car a unique identity.
Move to the side, and the Nexon instantly appears to be a lot more proportional as compared to other competitors in its segment. But the overall styling will surely polarise opinions. Chubbiness of the front end somehow gets lost as you move along the SUV’s side. Flared wheel arches, a sloping roofline colored in contrasting shade, and a couple of harmony lines on the door panels do manage to add dynamism and ruggedness to the Nexon’s character. There are some over-exaggerated design cues like the chunky alloys and contrasting inserts along the fog lamp housing that won’t make it to the final production model.
The rear profile of the Nexon compact SUV again gets a chubby and flared architecture, thanks to a broad boot lid, contoured black insert on the bumper, and a white panel running between the taillights. The tail will also get stylish LED taillamps and you can expect it to get a sporty roof spoiler as well.
Tata Motors have followed their very own next-generation ‘IMPACT Design’ philosophy while fabricating this new compact SUV. Thus, the Tata Nexon production model will likely appeal to a wide range of customers owing to its fresh new looks.
The concept car which was showcased at the last Auto Expo carried an interior which looked way too futuristic, so we believe that the Nexon compact SUV will get interiors which look identical to the ones that you find inside their recently launched cars like the Bolt and the Zica. Moreover, Tata Motors released a press image of the Nexon’s interiors at the 2016 Auto Expo, which showcases a dual-tone layout for the cabin.
The Nexon’s cabin will come equipped with the same three spoke multi function steering wheel that is equipped with recently launched Tiago hatchback. But the dashboard is expected to feature a completely new design. Major design elements on the inside include an infotainment display stuck on the top of the dashboard, which reminds us of many new Mercedes models. The new prototype showcased at the 2016 Auto expo gets a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system developed by Harman along with a 8 speaker audio system. Subtle brushed aluminum trims added on the dashboard, centre console and door pads further accentuate the cabin’s ambience. Expect the seats to be a lot sportier than the ones found in other cars, as it will also get some contours to it.
The rear seats too are expected to be extremely comfortable, and will be easily capable of seating 3 abreast in comfort. A ground clearance of 200 mm will ensure that there is minimum intrusion of the transmission tunnel at the rear, and being a broad car, the bench too will be sufficiently wide. The only concern here would be the absence of adequate headroom for taller occupants. This is a doubtful parameter with the Tata Nexon due to its sloping roofline.
The Nexon will get both diesel and petrol engines under its hood. The petrol variant will most probably get the same 1.2 Litre Revotron unit that powers the Tata Tiago which will be capable of producing around 88 hp of peak power and about 140 Nm of torque. This engine will be paired to a 5 speed manual transmission. As far as the diesel variant of the Nexon is concerned, it will most probably get the 1.5 Litre diesel unit which will be capable enough to produce about 110 PS of peak power and an estimated 260 Nm of torque. The engine will most probably paired to a 6 speed manual transmission.
We do hope Tata doesn’t miss out on an AMT gearbox for the Nexon production car, as it will make it a lot more practical crossover for the urban use.
The Tata Nexon Price in India will most probably be placed around the INR. 5 to 8 Lakh rupee bracket. Since the Tiago has been launched at extremely competitive prices, we at TopSpeed India expect the Tata Nexon prices to undercut its competition by a hefty margin.
The Vitara Brezza was recently launched to compete in the compact SUV segment. And being a perfect combination of macho looks, a practical cabin, fuel efficient potent engines, and Maruti’s unmatched customer satisfaction levels, the Vitara Brezza has immediately been deemed a massive success. The automaker has already claimed to have received more than 30,000 bookings for the Brezza, within just two weeks of its launch. Powered by a 1.3-litre diesel engine that exhales 90 PS of power, the Brezza will be Nexon’s biggest competitor in the segment.
The Ford EcoSport was once the king of the compact SUV segment, but the Brezza has now overtaken its American rival. To tackle this immense competition from Maruti, Ford dropped its prices by around 1 lacs. The automaker has also launched the updated EcoSport in the Indian market recently and although it has not received any significant changes, the few cosmetic and feature updates do make it a worthy competitor in the compact SUV segment. The Ecosport now gets signature light guide as well as daytime running lamps. It still gets three engine options for Indian market which includes the 1.5 Litre petrol, the 1.0 Litre Ecoboost engine and the one and only 1.5 Litre diesel variant. The 1.5 Litre TDCi diesel engine has received a power boost.
The upcoming Nexon SUV definitely looks attractive and we are pretty sure that it will get an impressive and spacious interior as well. As far as the drivetrains are concerned, the Nexon will likely get powerful diesel and petrol drivetrains under its hood, which will not only be capable of propelling the car in all situations, but will also return impressive fuel efficiency. Although this has to be the most competitive auto segment of the country right now, but the Nexon will surely bring a plateful of goodies for the buyers to entice them to have a look at the nearest Tata dealership.