Despite being given a few facelifts, the Tata Vista and the Manza already seem to be long in the tooth, failing to sell in decent numbers. Working hard to change people's perception towards their cars, Tata has been working on quite a few projects, one of which is the ’Project Falcon’. This project was dreamed up to create an all-new hatchback and a sedan to replace the Vista and Manza, respectively. Aiming at a fresh start, Tata even plans to drop the names ‘Vista’ and ‘Manza’ and give them all new monikers.
The latest set of spy shots seem to reveal some titbits about Tata’s Falcon-4, the hatchback. Prominently visible through these spy shots is the lack of changes to the basic design structure of the car, despite Tata’s claims that both cars are fresh models. There are a few cosmetic changes though, which include new tail lamps, which now extend into the hatch door. The number plate has now been moved up to the rear hatch door. A new front grille is coupled with redesigned projector headlamps.
Inside, the instrument panel, which is now placed in the centre of the dashboard in the current car, has been redesigned and moved behind the steering wheel. The centre console now features two cup holders, and a blank space over there might indicate the inclusion of an infotainment system. While the aircon vents and gear knob seem to be carried forward from the current generation Vista, previous reports suggest that the quality of interior materials will be improved for a more ‘premium’ feel.
Both the Falcon-4 and Falcon-5 (the sedan) are based on the X1 platform, which also forms the base for the current Vista and Manza. The engines, three diesels and one petrol, are also expected to be carried over from the current cars. The Fiat-sourced 1.3-litre Quadrajet diesel unit will be available in two guises, one producing 75bhp and 190Nm of torque, while the other, producing 90bhp and 200Nm of torque. Another diesel, a 1.4-litre TDI, will make 71bhp and 135Nm of torque. Reports suggest that the 1.2-litre turbo-petrol has been reworked upon, and will be offered in the new cars.
Both cars are expected to be showcased at the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo, with the launch expected a few months later. Facing a huge drop in its sales, times are hard for Tata. With the car also been spotted testing in Italy, Tata seems to be putting in quite a bit of effort on its ‘Project Falcon’. How will the Indian customer react to these cars, remains to be seen.