Alongside the recent launch of its Vista D90 hatchback, Tata Motors also showcased a concept for a crossover based on the Vista, called the Vista D90 Xtreme.
The concept is conceived in the same vein as the Skoda Fabia Scout and the upcoming VW CrossPolo, in that it is a standard hatchback with slightly raised suspension (25mm in this case) and a number of cosmetic touches, like a tailgate-mounted spare wheel, to give it the appearance of an SUV. For the D90 Xtreme, additional touches include black cladding on the bumpers and below the doors, roof rails, flared wheelarches and larger, 16-inch alloy wheels.
Interestingly, unlike most SUVs, which mount the wheel directly on the tailgate, the Vista D90 Xtreme’s spare is mounted on a swingarm that is hinged to the rear bumper, beneath the hatch. This was done to avoid tailgate rattle, and to keep the hatch door light enough to lift open easily. And since the spare wheel is not counted in the car’s overall length (which is the same as the standard hatchback’s) the car can still qualify for sub-four-metre small car excise benefits.
On the inside, the car gets black leather seats with yellow stitching, and an aluminium-effect gearlever and pedals.
Under the bonnet, the standard Vista D90’s 89bhp, 1.3-litre, variable-geometry turbo-equipped Quadrajet engine has been modified to produce 104bhp. Our sources tell us the modifications have been carried out in-house by Tata Motors, with a little help from Abarth, Fiat’s performance division. The tweaks include a modified exhaust, a remapped ECU and an optimised turbocharger.
With SUVs having gained huge popularity in recent years, and the potential to cash in on the government’s small-car excise benefits, the sub-four-metre crossover segment is fast becoming one of the most popular. Mahindra’s Quanto has already seen a lot of success and Ford’s upcoming EcoSport is easily one of the most anticipated launches of 2013.
A production version of the D90 Xtreme is possible, but there has been no confirmation. However, if confirmed, a production model could be ready by the end of the year, and we expect prices to be around Rs 80,000 more than a similarly specced Vista hatchback.