Girish Wagh, Senior Vice-President (Program Planning & Program Management – Passenger Vehicles), Tata Motors, speaks to Sumantra Barooah on the soon-to-be-launched Hexa crossover.
How will you qualify this project in this whole transformation journey of Tata Motors?
The Hexa is very clearly our flagship product. It is absolutely up there in terms of content — features, technology, performance levels — on every attribute. It is a flagship product from Tata Motors and we are clearly making a statement in terms of what are we capable of delivering now.
So, the pillars on which we have decided to differentiate ourselves, whether it is design, the driving pleasure or connectivity, I think we have taken the Hexa to a completely next level.
What modifications were done to the (X2) platform to achieve this result?
Essentially, we have added a lot of features in the car but we have maintained the same weight. So, to add these features we have reduced the weight of the basic car.
A lot of lightweighting has gone into reducing the weight to the extent that we can add all these features.
If you take away the additional features, like-to-like, what is the weight reduction from the Aria?
It is upwards of 100kg. That’s the kind of weight reduction which has been done to add all these features. Now, in terms of additions and changes, the engine itself is changed. It is a new engine with new hardware, new intake system, new cylinder block and it delivers a segment-beating torque of 400 Nm.
We have a completely new transmission for the manual version — a new six-speed transmission. We also have a steering which has been changed. We have increased the stiffness of the rack, and increased the flow of the hydraulic pump to ensure that the steering is more responsive and lighter. The complete suspension package has also been changed.
In the marketplace, the Hexa will be a rival to the Innova. There, the judging parameters will be different. How confident are you in terms of meeting the competition?
If you compare the Hexa with some of those products, as far as design is concerned, the Hexa looks more mature, more masculine, both in the front and at the rear. In terms of the interiors, the quality of the material used, the surface finish, the tactile feel, everything has taken a step ahead. The kind of leatherette used on the seats is a step above. Whatever will be expected in the segment in terms of fit, finish and crafted quality is there. Also, a lot of work has been done to ensure that the Hexa easily fits into that segment.
Finally, customers, especially young buyers, are looking at the infotainment system which now comes with a JBL-branded 10-speaker system. We have 10 speakers in the car which are placed very strategically to offer a very good and enriched surround sound experience.
These are the kind of changes that we have done which will ensure that the customer in that price bracket finds the Hexa a very compelling value proposition.