You read it first on MotorBeam. Tata Motors launched the Zest last year which did get the ball rolling, but the Bolt came and complicated matters once again for the Indian auto giant. The Bolt’s premium pricing and the cosmetic familiarity to the older Vista have affected its sales gravely with the premium hatchback doing disappointing numbers month-on-month (633 units in April 2015). Tata is assessing the situation and while we expected a price correction on the Bolt, the Indian automaker plans to re-position the hatchback against the Maruti Swift and Hyundai Grand i10 instead of the premium Hyundai i20.
Instead, Tata Motors is now developing a new premium hatchback codenamed ‘X451’ that will take on the Hyundai Elite i20 as well as the upcoming Maruti Suzuki YRA (concept named iK-2) in the future. The premium hatchback space is promising given the popularity of the Elite i20 and Tata too wants to earn a chunk of this pie. The X451 though will be based on the upcoming Nexon compact SUV that was showcased at the 2014 Auto Expo last February. The Nexon is based on the X1 platform that underpins the Bolt as well, but we expect the automaker to tweak the chassis further to make it sportier on the upcoming premium hatchback.
Tata will also be borrowing the design language on the new X451 from the Nexon so expect to see a wide and bold grille along with an interestingly done up rear. Hopefully, the company won’t stick to the tall boy design language this time round. In terms of tech, expect Tata to fill the X451 right up to the brim in order to make the offering competitive against the Elite i20. Power, on the other hand, will most likely come from the 1.2-litre Revotron petrol and 1.3-litre diesel engine options that will be tuned for better performance. A launch date has not been revealed yet but expect the upcoming premium hatchback to debut in 2017.