A production prototype of Tata Indica-replacement (codenamed ‘Kite’) has been sighted by our author Steven Neil at Hosur Road in Bangalore, and we’re glad to see it’s wearing a production headlamps and tail-lamps now.
From the looks of it, the Kite does not resemble any Tata cars presently sold. Not even the recently launched Bolt and Zest because unlike these Vista twins, the Kite range is designed from a fresh sheet of paper by Tata’s European Technical Center (TMETC), but Tata’s Megapixel-inspired smiling grille is evident peeking-out from these spyshots.
The Tata Kite hatchback is rumored to be named Tata Glade, when launched in June-July this year in India. Both a petrol engine as well as a diesel engine option is expected to be available. The company has planned just to derive two body styles from this XO platform, one will be the hatch spotted here while the other will be a compact sedan as a replacement for the ageing Indigo eCS.
As per AutoCarIndia, the chassis based on the Indica’s XO platform is also heavily reworked to improve refinement and rigidity, with the only similarities being the engine firewall and pedal box. The Kite will get the completely reworked suspension while the electronic power steering (EPS) system will be carried over from the Zest and Bolt.
The Kite is likely to use a 1.2-litre petrol engine or a 1.05-litre three-cylinder diesel engine. Paired to the engine is a choice between a 5-speed manual gearbox or an automated manual transmission (AMT), while another report in Team-BHP says that the Kite will not feature an AMT instead an e-clutch system, but as of now it is unclear which one will feature in the upcoming hatch.
The e-clutch system is developed by an auto component giant Bosch in 2013. This system is not only cheaper than an AMT transmission, but is also likely to result in more fuel savings of around 10%. The Kite been spotted in and around Hosur road few times makes us believe the debut of e-clutch system in Kite hatch, as the Bosch head quarters and R&D Centre is situated in Hosur road, Bangalore.
Once launched, the Kite aka Glade will become a nightmare to the Maruti Celerio for the coming months. However, the addition of an e-clutch technology which isn’t officially confirmed for now, could prove to be a USP for the Kite hatch.
To read more on Tata Kite, Click here
GALLERY: Tata Kite (aka Glade)