With Tata Motors going through a clear transformation, it's natural for the company to look at newer products to expand sales and the next one up is a premium hatchback. Codenamed the X451, the upcoming hatchback was recently caught testing on Indian roads by Autocar India (ACI). Although the car in the pictures is heavily camouflaged, one can spot the design similarities with the Tiago hatchback. The X451, however, will have little to do with the Tiago as it will be the first car to be based on Tata Motors' Advanced Modular Platform (AMP), which has been in the news for quite some time. The spy images clearly suggest that the X451 will be longer and wider than the Tiago, slotting it in the premium hatchback segment. As a result, Tata Motors' new hatchback will take on the Maruti Suzuki Baleno and Hyundai i20. Tata Motors has never had a car in this fast-growing segment and hence the X451 will play a crucial role in pushing the company's sales further.
Looking closely at the pictures, one can spot the makeshift round headlamps but the real wraparound units haven't been hidden completely. The roofline tapers towards the rear, suggesting a sporty styling, which resonates well with the consumers in the premium hatchback segment. At the rear, it's hard to make out the tail lamp design but one can notice how sharply the rear windshield rakes outwards, much like the Maruti Suzuki Baleno. The test car was running on steel rims but expect the top variants to sport 15-inch alloy wheels with the diamond-cut finish as the Tigor petrol too has them.
There is no information about the interior of the X451 but we expect it to share parts and design with the recently launched Nexon, with some more improvements. This would put the car on par with the competition, especially the Hyundai i20, which is widely considered to have the best interior quality in its segment right now.
In terms of powertrain, expect the X451 to be powered by the same engines powering the Nexon as they would complement the premium positioning of the vehicle. The original report by Autocar suggests that the diesel unit could be the 1,050 cc diesel engine from the Tiago but with more power. While this could be true, we think it would be a bad move by Tata. People willing to spend more than Rs 8 lakh on a hatchback demand refinement among many other qualities. Tiago's diesel engine with more power too, doesn't seem to be capable of delivering on consumer expectations despite additional tuning.
Tata Motors is yet to make an official statement regarding the X451 but the car is expected to be launched in 2019 an will be built at the company's plant in Sanand, Gujarat.