Tata Motors will kick off its new product offensive with ‘Project Falcon’, which will spawn a new hatchback and sub-four-metre saloon based on the company’s existing X1 platform that underpins the current Vista and Manza.
However, according to company insiders, the Falcon siblings are essentially all-new vehicles and have "no resemblance to any existing Tata product”. In fact, Tata Motors is likely to drop the Vista and Manza names altogether, to drive home the point that these models represent a fresh innings for the company that has been badly struggling with an ageing and dry product pipeline. It is unlikely, however, that Tata Motors will use ‘Falcon’, which is just the project designation, as the market name for the new cars.
‘Falcon 4’ is the project code for the hatchback, which has been styled in Tata’s European design studio. It will eventually replace the Vista when it goes on sale towards the end of 2014 and will come with both diesel and petrol engine options. The 1.3-litre Fiat Multijet diesel is carried over from the Vista, but a new 1.2-litre turbo-petrol, based on the current Xeta engine, will debut in the Falcons. This engine will be the base motor in an engine family that Tata Motors is developing, which, in the future, will include larger-capacity engines and direct fuel injection.
‘Falcon 5’ is a new sub-four-metre saloon that will replace the current Manza and will be positioned above the existing Indigo eCS when it goes on sale next year. Again, this new saloon will use the Manza’s 89bhp, Fiat-sourced 1.3 diesel, but petrol power is likely to come from a more powerful version of the new 1.2 turbo-petrol, producing in excess of 100bhp.
It’s likely that the Falcon 5 will be launched a couple of months before the hatchback (Falcon 4) and around the festive season next year. Both the Falcon cars will be unveiled at the Auto Expo next February.