On the new ‘Y’ pattern grille of the EV-ready Tata HBX/H2X (Update)

Last month Tata Motors tweaked the lower grille of the Tata Nexon EV to have new ‘Bi Arrow’ highlights instead of the signature Tri Arrow design hinting that it may be drifting away from the feature that has drawn comparisons with the Mercedes three-pointed star.

Spy shots shared EVW reader Tanmay Ingawale and evoindia.com in August show a fully camouflaged production Tata HBX test mule wearing complete production elements, including the two-tier front lights with LED DRLs on the top.

The Tata HBX/Tata H2X & its EV variant would have a different style for the grille as evident from the images. The car comes with ‘Y’ marks on the lower grille (inverted Tri-Arrows). Like in the Nexon and Altroz, the EV variant would have blue accents on them. The Tata HBX/Tata H2X is expected to launch and hit showrooms in the first months of 2021, while its EV variant would follow in 2022.

Motorbeam reader Aman Saraswat recently spotted prototypes of the HBX during high altitude testing in Himachal Pradesh. A flattish bonnet, upright A-pillar, body armour on the doors, a pronounced belt-line and high ground clearance would distance the HBX from the Tata Tiago that comes with a similar footprint and give it the identity of an urban SUV.

In June, ElectricVehicleWeb reader Gaurang had spotted the Tata HBX in Pune (video). Note the roof rails, rear spoiler and squared tail lights under the cover along with the rear wiper which could mean this is a top-end XZ or XZ+ variant. The car seems to be rolling on 15-inch alloy wheels. A couple of neat design touches that are confirmed to feature on the production car are new lighting technology and a small air curtain in the passage between the grille and the wheel arch which are perhaps the final updates in the Impact 2.0 design language, and Tata Motors has started working on Impact 3.0 Design.

Tata Motors’ micro-SUV was showcased in its near-production form at the Auto Expo 2020. The HBX (earlier known as the Tata H2X) is built on the ALFA platform that is used by Tata Altroz, just that it is made shorter and narrower.

Spy media confirm that the company is taking over 90% of the Concept’s design into production. Notice the car’s split headlamp design with a DRL strip above and the main headlamp unit below. There’s also circular fog lamps on the front bumper. The pictures below show a floating infotainment system (probably a 7.0-inch) that will support smartphone connectivity and the ZConnect suite. We expect the HBX top-end variant to come loaded with features such as 15-inch alloy wheels, semi-digital instrument cluster, automatic AC, connected services, an 8-speaker sound system and doors that swing 90 degrees for easy entry and exit.

Positioned between the Tiago and the Altroz, the Tata H2X will compete with the Maruti Ignis and Mahindra KUV100, while Hyundai is expected to join the party with the Hyundai ‘AX’ (codename) in 2022. The price of the Tata HBX is expected to be between INR 4.5-6.5 lakh (ex-showroom).

Tata Electric Car on the HBX platform

As the ALFA platform is ready to support complete electrification (Tata Altroz EV will be the first model from this base), the HBX will be getting a fully-electric powertrain apart from a petrol engine (likely to be the 1.2-litre Revotron unit from the Tiago).

The HBX Electric is on the list of Tata electric cars to be launched by the end of 2022 and is set to inherit the high-voltage & high-performance Ziptron technology that powers the Nexon EV and the upcoming Altroz EV that comes with an 8-year warranty and deliver a 300+ km range. The HBX EV would have to contend with the Mahindra eKUV100 set to be launched in early 2021 as the most affordable electric car in the country, the Maruti Wagon R based EV that comes out next year, the Hyundai electric car (2022) and the Citroen electric car (2022) in the micro SUV segment.

Tata HBX Concept – Image Gallery