Narain Karthikeyan has been actively involved in the development of the Bolt and Zest models as well, and lends his expertise on tuning the ride and suspension of the Kite.

Tata Kite Hatchback Test Mule Narain Karthkeyan
The Kite hatchback was spotted testing alongside the Hyundai Grand i10 & Maruti Celerio

It is a known fact that ex-F1 driver Narain Karthikeyan has been an integral part of the development process of the Tata Zest and Bolt models. However, the association isn’t just limited to the fancy R&D centres or within the confines of the test facility, nor is it a marketing gimmick. These recent spy shots of the upcoming Kite (codename) hatchback show the ace driver testing a camouflaged mule in Lonavala, Maharashtra, showcasing the ace driver’s involvement in the entire project on a personal level.

The Tata Kite was spotted testing alongside the petrol and diesel versions of the Hyundai Grand i10 and Maruti Celerio (both use small capacity diesels). The Kite will be employing a newly developed 1.05-litre diesel motor under the hood, while petrol power will come from the new 1.2-litre Revotron petrol motor sans the turbocharging. With an illustrious experience in different forms of car racing ranging from Formula 1 to NASCAR, Narain’s expertise will help Tata fine tune the ride and handling of its new small car that is expected to step into the Indica’s shoes when it goes on sale.

In addition, the Tata Kite test mule was spotted with projector headlamps, the bold new grille and production ready alloy wheels. Details are still very much under wraps with the hatchback and it is likely that the small car will go on sale in the country later this year. In addition, Tata is also working on a sedan variant of the Kite that will replace the Indigo eCS in the company’s lineup. Given how the Zest panned out, expect to see a feature loaded cabin while pricing will be extremely aggressive undercutting the competition. Tata Motors should go an extra mile and introduce the AMT option right from the start with both engines.

Tata Kite Hatchback Test Mule Production Ready
In production ready form, the Kite gets alloy wheels, chrome garnish, projector lamps
Tata Kite Hatchback Test Testing Diesel
Power will come from a new 1.05-litre diesel engine to take on the Celerio diesel
Tata Kite Testing Camouflage
Tata Motors could launch the Kite by the end of this year

Spy Pictures Source –