The Tata HBA concept was given a near-production ready update at the 2020 Auto Expo and then renamed the Tata HBX Concept. It looked butch, it looked outdoorsy but was tiny. The time for the product launch is now upon us this festive season and Tata Motors has revealed that the new micro SUV will be called — The Tata Punch. But what do we know of this new SUV so far? Here are the five key things you need to know about the upcoming Tata Punch.
All new-generation Tata Motors vehicles are being manufactured on two platforms. The bigger SUVs like the Harrier and Safari use the OMEGARC architecture, derived from the Land Rover D8 platform. The compact models on the other hand will use the ALFA architecture. The first model based on the ALFA platform was the Altroz hatchback. The Tata Punch will be the second model. That being said, the Altroz scored 5 stars in the NCAP crash test, we expect the Punch to offer a similar kind of crashworthiness and occupant safety.
Tata Motors has only revealed one image of the new upcoming Punch. The model looks to maintain the silhouette of the HBX concept in spirit. However, the concept’s exaggerated bits like the knobby off-road tyres, roof rack, giant skid plates have been dropped. Instead, it looks like a predictable crossover. the Punch uses Tata’s SUV design language with the large front bumper housing the main headlamps, with the brow-shaped LED DRLs flanking the front grille. The Punch will keep the squared wheel arches from the concept along with the plastic cladding around the vehicle. Tata Motors will also offer the Punch with a dual-tone paint scheme. While the Punch sits on a set of 16-inch wheels, the rear design is still officially a secret.
Tata Motors has not revealed the interior images of the Punch at the moment. However, like the exterior, we expect it to look similar to the concept. The steering wheel is likely to be the same design as the Altroz, while more features like the HVAC controls, semi-digital instrument cluster are likely to be borrowed from the hatchback as well. The 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system would be placed dead centre of the dash and Tata’s iRA connected car features are also likely to be offered too.
In all probability, Tata Motors will offer the new Punch with two petrol engine options borrowed from the Altroz. We expect the 1.2-litre three-cylinder iturbo engine with the 5-speed manual transmission to be offered. The lower-spec models would likely use the 1.2-litre naturally aspirated unit which is good for 83hp. This version may also include an AMT option.
At this point, it is anyone guess which vehicles the Tata Punch will actually compete against. The Punch will be positioned below the Nexon and it will be a touch smaller than the sub-compact SUVs we have come to witness. The Punch is likely to bridge the gap between the Maruti Suzuki Ignis, but its higher-spec version could also take the fight to the entry-level variants of the Nissan Magnite and Renault Kiger.
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