India-bound Volkswagen T-Cross SUV Picture Gallery

India-bound Volkswagen T-Cross SUV Picture Gallery

Following multiple speculations and endless spy pictures, the Volkswagen T-Cross has finally come alive in production form. The premium SUV was recently unveiled in Amsterdam and is the smallest offering in VW’s line of SUVs including the Tiguan, T-Roc and the flagship Touareg. Here’s a deeper look into this rather important model that’s headed our way.

Based on the same MQB-A0 platform as the new-gen Polo, the T-Cross is 4.2m long, 1.76m in width and 1.56m in height. Volkswagen says the T-Cross will have a host of customisation options with no less than 12 colour variants to choose from. It will also have an equal number of interior personalisation options just like the new-gen Polo.

Upfront, the horizontal grille gets full-width louvres that elongate all the way to the headlamp which is, in fact, akin to the T-Roc. The front bumper gets integrated fog lamps in a black insert. But the most interesting part of the T-Roc is the dual tone multi-spoke alloy wheels which can also be matched with the body colour for added personalisation.

What catches your attention in profile are the sharp creases and prominent wheel arches. The T-Cross is compact yet spacious according to Volkswagen. At the rear, the tail lamps are joined by black inserts that run along the tailgate. The LED tail lights are unique and match the character of the SUV. VW has also confirmed a boot size of 455-litres which can be expanded to 1,281litres with the 60:40 seats folded down.

Inside there is a fully digital cockpit. The centre console has an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with all the connectivity features expected in modern day cars. As mentioned earlier, there will be a choice of 12 interior colours which will dominate on the dashboard and all around the cabin.

Under the hood, the new T-Cross will have a choice of four turbocharged engines: three petrol and one diesel. The two 1.0 TSI three-cylinder petrol engines with petrol generating 95bhp or 115bhp. The top model is the 1.5 TSI four-cylinder engine with 150bhp. Completing the range is a 1.6 TDI four-cylinder engine with 95bhp. All engines comply with the latest Euro 6d-TEMP emission standard.

The new T-Cross will be launched in Europe by mid-April next year. It will come to India as a sub-four metre SUV and as a part of Volkswagen India’s 2.0 plan, but that will happen around 2021. Along with a different platform (MQB-AO-IN), it might adopt a different name locally to compete against the likes of Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Ford EcoSport and Mahindra’s upcoming compact SUV

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Tata Tiago JTP Launch Drive Review

Tata Tiago JTP Launch Drive Review

This is the Tiago JTP. And, it has received the same set of upgrades as the Tigor JTP to turn this entry-level hatchback into a special works car. But, on the road, the two cars did feel a bit different…

The upgrades

Tata Tiago JTP Launch Drive Review

As is the case with the Tigor JTP, the Tiago JTP too gets a turbocharged version of the 1.2-litre petrol engine that powers the regular Tiago. As a result, the power is up almost by 30bhp and the torque is claimed to be a healthy 150Nm as well. This is the same engine that is housed under the hood of the Tata Nexon SUV, but it develops a little more power for the Tiago.

The gearbox is the same as on the regular Tiago, but the JTP runs a shorter final drive and a closer stacked second and third gear. This, on paper, should help improve standing start acceleration as well as the mid-range performance of the car.

Tata Tiago JTP Launch Drive Review

Other mechanical changes include a stiffer and lowered suspension setup, bigger and wider wheels and tyres, re-calibrated throttle maps, a new intake and exhaust system, and an EPS that adds more weight at speed.

There are visual upgrades too, like on the Tigor JTP. So, you can only have this JTP in either red or white. There’s a contrasting black roof, red JTP badging all round, 15-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, and black ORVMs on the red car, and red ORVMs on the white. And, lest I forget, there’s a bonnet scope that works to add ram air as part of the intake upgrade, and there are side vents to help with cooling.

Inside, there’s red outline for the aircon vents, red stitching and honeycomb motif on the seats, the floor pedals have a faux drilled finish, and well, nothing else that sets it apart from the top-spec Tiago XZ.

Tata Tiago JTP Launch Drive Review

The drive

Tata Tiago JTP Launch Drive Review

The Tiago and the Tigor are based on the same platform. And now under JTP, these have received the same set of upgrades, and the exact same tuning. So, one would expect the two to feel near identical to drive. That, however, isn’t the case.

There are some differences between the regular versions of the cars to begin with. The Tiago is 50kg lighter. It sits on a 50mm shorter wheelbase. And, it doesn’t get the same sound insulation or NVH package as the Tigor.

On the road, the Tiago JTP feels just as fast as the Tigor. It too can do the 0-100kmph sprint in 10 seconds. And from behind the wheel, especially in Sport mode, the Tiago feels like a power packed hatchback.

Tata Tiago JTP Launch Drive Review

It manages to spin its fat 185 section front tyres under full bore acceleration. Get past 3,000rpm, and you are welcomed by a satisfying turbo kick. The car though, keeps pulling vigourously to its near 6,000rpm redline. And then, when you shift up just short of that mark, you find yourself back in a potent accelerating zone.

Keeping that throttle pinned, and going up the gearbox, leads you to high three digit speeds one wouldn’t even expect an affordable hatchback to get to, besides feeling completely comfortable and in-control. And that’s when you realise what a good job the team at JT Special Vehicles have done.

They have completely transformed the Tiago. It’s not just about plonking a more powerful engine under the hood. The JTP actually can handle and put down all that additional power with some engineering finesse.

Now, we didn’t get to throw the Tiago JTP around the twisty stuff, but whatever long, bumpy, and fast bends we countered, the JTP showed clear signs of being a hoot to drive up a winding road. But, just like the Tigor JTP, this one too could do with better brakes.

Tata Tiago JTP Launch Drive Review

Our take

Tata Tiago JTP Launch Drive Review

Yes, I realise I haven’t talked about how the Tiago JTP is different from the Tigor JTP, especially after all that build up. The bottom line is – the Tigor JTP feels like the better car here.

The Tiago JTP is less refined. You can hear more of the mechanical noises – the turbo whine, the gear slotting, and even the engine – inside the Tiago. But, that’s not all. The lighter weight and the shorter wheelbase means that it feels twitchier than the Tigor at high speeds.

Tata Tiago JTP Launch Drive Review

It’s also not as planted under hard braking as the sedan. And at slower city speeds, the Tiago feels more like a sports car with its rear slapping around over bumps instead of absorbing them.

The Tigor JTP just feels like the more luxurious, more matured of the two cars here.

But, the Tiago JTP is significantly cheaper. And to be honest, you are essentially getting the same thrills but at a more sensible price point. So, when it comes to the price to performance bang-for-your-buck equation, the Tiago JTP certainly takes the cake. And, not just over the Tigor JTP, mind.

Tata Tiago JTP Launch Drive Review

Pictures by Kaustubh Gandhi

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Honda Car Will Roll Out BS6 Compliant CarAhead Of The April 2020 Deadline

Honda Cars will comply with the upcoming BS6 standards at least four months prior to the norms.

Honda Cars will comply with the upcoming BS6 standards at least four months prior to the norms.
It is pretty much obvious that all the Indian automakers will have to start production of BS6 compliant vehicles before the April 2020 deadline. While most of the companies plan to roll out their cars ahead of the introduction of the BS6 norms, Honda Car India’s strategy is no different. The company has shared that its entire product line-up will comply with the upcoming BS6 standards at least four months prior to the norms kicking in. On the side lines of the 4th edition of the CII Smart Manufacturing Summit held in Delhi today, Mukesh Manocha, Assistant General Manager, Welding Division, Honda Cars India, spoke to carandbike about the Japanese carmaker’s preparations to meet the BSVI norms and said, “We will be ready much before the BSVI norms are regulated throughout the country.” When asked about a specific timeline, Manocha said, “I will not give you the exact month now but yes at least four months before the BS6 norms kick in.”

Honda already has the technology and experience to get its cars ready for the BS6 norms. However, the limitation is BS6 most likely will increase the cost of the cars and significantly for diesel cars which will have to be fitted with a Diesel Particulate Filter in addition to a Catalyst reductor and exhaust treatment system. Honda currently has two diesel engines in India- a 1.5-litre i-Dtec motor that made its debut in the first-generation Honda Amaze and also is the workhorse for diesel variants of the City, WR-V, Jazz and the BR-V. Then there’s the 1.6-litre i-Dtec engine that made its way into the country in the recently launched Honda CR-V. The latter one is exclusively made for the Indian market and is being assembled in Honda’s Greater Noida plant in India. Honda will consider exporting it at a later date.

Also Read: Honda Cars India Looking To Set Up A Third Facility In The Country

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Honda is planning to bring five new models in the Indian market in next three years. The upcoming big lunch is the Honda Civic facelift which was recently unveiled. The Honda Civic facelift is powered by a 140 bhp, 1.8 litre petrol engine in the global market, however; it’s likely to get a bump up in the power output for the Indian market. One among the five new launches will also be the a compact SUV- Honda HR-V (known as Vezel in some foreign markets) that will go up against the Hyundai Creta

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