There's a lot going on at Tata Motors right now. Be it battling sales declines for the Zest and Bolt, scouting for an all-new name for its upcoming Zica hatchback or planning for the launch of the Zica-based compact sedan, the Indian automaker is having its hands full. Despite all that, the Pune-based automotive brand put on a dazzling display at the ongoing Auto Expo in New Delhi, previewing it's upcoming models to the media and the public.
The most important of them all, obviously, is the soon-to-be-renamed Zica hatchback that's slated for launch in the next few weeks. Though this is the first time Zica is officially presented to the public, representatives from the media have driven it and the car is all over the social media, thanks to Tata's new brand ambassador Lionel Messi. Why do they have to rename the car after all this, you ask? It's because of the Zika virus, a fast-spreading global health threat.
The renaming apart, the Zica is one stylish hatchback that debuts Tata's new 'Impact Design' philosophy. While we tend to dismiss phrases like that as mere marketing jargon, the Zica does create an impact with its mature looks and 'subtle yet noticeable' detailing. The trademark honeycomb grille, the new three-dimensional logo and the humanity line outlining the grille found in the Zica will be standard fixtures on all upcoming Tatas. More importantly, the Zica has no resemblance to the Indica, a problem plaguing Tata for years!
Every new hatchback these days brings along with it a compact sedan. Tata pioneered this with the Indica-based Indigo CS in 2008 and it continues with the Zica-based compact sedan. Internally codenamed 'Kite 5', Tata's new compact sedan looks great. Surprised that we mentioned 'compact sedan' and 'great looks' in a single statement? We're surprised ourselves but that's what Tata has done! Their designers have done a tremendous job and the Zica-based compact sedan doesn't look disproportionate or awkward from any angle. Who says compact sedans have to look butt-ugly?
Both these cars would have all-new 3-cylinder engines developed in-house by Tata. The petrol is a 1.2-liter mill from the 'Revotron' family churning out 84 horsepower and 114 Nm of torque and the diesel is a 1.05-liter unit christened 'Revotorq' generating a modest 69 horsepower and 140 Nm of torque. Tata hasn't confirmed the diesel power and torque figures for the sedan, hinting at the possibility of a revised state of tune.
Also present in Tata's stand was the Nexon Concept, a star of the 2014 Auto Expo. This time, the upcoming compact SUV shed its concept elements with Tata deciding to showcase the vehicle in a mellowed-down production-ready avatar. Still, the Nexon looks amazing and futuristic with its floating roof, steeply rising beltline and dual-tone paint job. Projector headlamps and LED taillights add more bling to the Nexon. If its launched as it is, expect this Tata to be a head-turner on roads. The views might be polarizing though.
When it goes on sale, the Nexon-based compact SUV will be powered by a turbocharged 1.2-liter 'Revotron' petrol engine and a new 1.5-liter diesel engine developing 108 horsepower and a peak torque of 260 Nm.
Production version of the soon-to-be-launched Hexa and a sexy Bolt Sport with a more powerful engine and body kit added pizzazz to the Tata stand.
Having displayed cars and SUVs as impressive as these, the pressure is now on Tata to get the pricing right and the marketing strategies, promotions and after-sales sorted before launching them in the market. Given its current plight, Tata just can't afford to screw up. As for us, we wish we could take these snazzy Tatas out for test drives already!