The Tata Sierra was certainly a star attraction at the Auto Expo 2020, but there was another important SUV that Tata Motors showcased, one that you can buy very soon. And that was the close to production HBX micro-SUV concept. Now it seems like Tata is testing the production version of the HBX in full swing to ready it for launch. We recently managed to grab some spy shots of a camouflaged test mule and it gives us an idea of what the production version will look like.
The Tata HBX concept shown at the Auto Expo 2020 had chunky off-road tyres, roof rack, roof mounted spare wheel and bash plates on all sides giving it an off-roader look. On the production version, the off-roading muscles are clearly gone. And yet, it looks very similar to what was showcased at the motor show.
Upfront, it gets bumper mounted headlamps that sit below the DRLs, a design reminiscent of the Harrier. The lower air-intake gets the tri-arrow pattern, an element borrowed from the 2020 Nexon. The rising beltline also reminds you of Nexon and it seems like an important part of Tata’s latest Impact 2.0 design language. The chunky off-road wheels are of course gone and the HBX gets what appear like conventional 14/15 inch alloy wheels. More elements visible despite being in disguise include roof rails, rear skid plates, LED DRLs and a rear wiper.
In terms of interiors, the HBX concept shown at the Auto Expo 2020 sported a flat bottomed steering, rectangular air vents with body coloured surrounds, push button start/stop, a floating touchscreen and pillar mounted tweeters, all seeming production ready.
What we also know about the production HBX is that it is based on the new ALFA architecture from the Altroz. It will borrow the 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine from Tata's premium hatchback and the 1.2 turbo-petrol from the Nexon will come along in due course, as will the AMT transmission.
That said, the micro-SUV based on the HBX concept will lock horns with the likes of the Mahindra KUV100 and the Maruti Suzuki Ignis. We’re hoping for Tata Motors to continue with its excellent streak of launching stylish, feature rich and modern cars with high safety ratings and in that case, the HBX could potentially be in a league of its own.