Tata Nexon compact SUV spotted testing near Pune

Visitors to the 2016 Auto Expo in New Delhi would unanimously agree that Tata Motors' display was amongst the most impressive with a slew of upcoming vehicles unveiled one after the other. One of them was the futuristic and funky Nexon compact SUV. After debuting in concept form at the 2014 Auto Expo, the Nexon came back as a concept again to vow visitors this year too, albeit in a toned-down production-ready avatar. Just days after it's spectacular outing in New Delhi, here is proof Tata is already at work preparing for these launches.

Spotted testing over the weekend on the outskirts of Pune, the two test mules of Tata Nexon zoomed past our Xylo and quickly sped into a distance. Considering we were already doing close to triple digit speeds, that was an impressive high speed show by the two Nexons. With the makeshift headlights and taillights combined with some clever camouflaging, the test vehicles revealed next to nothing apart from their identities. Despite craning our necks trying to shoot the interiors, all that welcomed us were thick sheets of camouflage on the dashboard! We scratched our heads trying to figure out those ungainly protrusions at the rear of the test cars in vain. Are they just intentional distractions planned by Tata? Is that a practical roof-mounted carrier? Is it a funky style accessory? We don't know yet.

What we know is that the Nexon would feature Tata's new 'Impact Design' philosophy which is debuting in the soon-to-be-renamed Zica. If the design of the show car makes it to production, the Nexon would be one truly impressive automobile on our roads. With Tata's trademark honeycomb grille, the Humanity Line that extends into the 'frog's eye' headlights, the distinct window line that's shaped like a swoosh, the dual-tone paint job and the floating roof, there's a lot to like in the Nexon. The rear is likely to split opinions and is a definite hit or a miss. The interiors, again, are refreshingly cool for a brand that's struggling to impress private retail customers. Be it the two-tone dashboard with contrasting elements, the Mercedes-style 6.5-inch touchscreen that pops out of the dash or the rotary drive mode selector in the center console, there are quite a few party tricks up the Nexon's sleeve.

When it goes on sale, engine options for the Nexon would include a turbocharged 1.2-liter Revotron petrol engine and a 1.5-liter turbo diesel that generates 110 PS and 260 Nm of torque. Transmitting all that power to the front wheels would be a 6-speed manual transmission. An Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) is also expected to be launched at a later stage. Riding on 16-inch alloy wheels with a ground clearance of 200 mm, the Tata Nexon would rival the Ford Ecosport, Maruti-Suzuki's upcoming Vitara Brezza and the Mahindra TUV 3OO for a pie of the booming compact SUV segment.

What are you waiting for Tata? Waste no time, launch the Nexon already and see customers flocking your showrooms with cheque books on hand!

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