With sky-high petrol and diesel prices impacting motorists purchase decisions, passenger vehicle manufacturers are actively looking at CNG-powered variants to maintain sales momentum. At present, Maruti Suzuki India and Hyundai Motor India are the main purveyors of CNG cars in the country. Tata Motors could be joining them soon.
Speaking at the launch of the new Tiago NRG hatchback today, Mohan Savarkar, Vice-President, Product Line Head, PVBU, Tata Motors, said, “CNG is the way to go for smaller cars. Soon, you will see CNGs coming in our portfolio too. Whether we can use it in all our products or only specific models is something we have to wait and decide when the product hits the market. But, CNG is coming.”
The Tiago CNG and Tigor CNG models have been spotted testing on multiple occasions and according to Autocar India the two cars are slated to be launched later this year.
From a consumer’s point of view, a CNG car provides considerable savings compared to its petrol or diesel-engined siblings. What’s also driving the consumer shift to CNG models is the high price of petrol (Rs 107.83 a litre in Mumbai) and diesel (Rs 97.45 a litre in Mumbai). CNG in Mumbai today costs Rs 49.40 per kg.
Running costs are also significantly lower compared to either of the fossil fuels as a vehicle inherently gives better fuel economy when driven on CNG. A few challenges remain though. Refuelling takes longer due to a fewer number of CNG stations and highway driving requires additional planning in terms of trying to take a route with a CNG station. But car buyers, who have heavy day-to-day, usage are finding that it makes wallet sense in choosing the CNG fuel option.
New Tiago NRG launched at Rs 657,000
The new Tiago NRG, which is essentially the facelifted Tiago, has higher ground clearance compared to the existing Tiago. It develops 86bhp and 113 Nm from a 1.2-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine. The Tiago NRG is available with both the 5-speed manual and AMT gearbox options. With a 4 star safety rating by GNCAP, this vehicle will be launched in four colours – Foresta Green, Fire Red, Snow White, Cloudy Grey, and will be available in showrooms from today. The starting price of the car is at Rs 6.57 lakh and Rs 7.09 lakh for the petrol-AMT.
While the petrol-engined MT variant costs Rs 657,000, the petrol AMT variant is priced at Rs 709,000 (ex-showrom). Based on the face-lifted Tiago launched last year, the rugged-looking Tiago NRG costs Rs 23,000 more than the standard Tiago XZ+ both the manual and AQMT variants. The latest Tiago, which gets new dual-tone 15-inch alloy wheels, is available in four colours – Foresta Green, Snow White, Cloudy Grey and Fire Red – and also gets faux roof rails and a thick plastic trim on the tail-gate with an NRG badge.
While the dashboard layout is nearly the same as the standard Tiago, the NRG variant’s interior is awash in an all-black shade, with contrasting trim elements around the AC vents and gear lever. On the creature comfort front, the Tiago NRG has a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, Harman sound system, steering-mounted controls, power windows, power folding wing mirrors and height adjustable driver’s seat. Safety kit includes dual airbags, ABS, day-night rear-view mirror and rear parking sensors.
Interestingly, the Tiago NRG also gets a push button start/stop and keyless entry over the standard Tiago, although it misses out on the automatic climate control feature that’s offered as standard on the latter.
Rajan Amba, Vice-President, Sales, Marketing & Customer Care, PVBU, Tata Motors said, “The NRG fits well with the growing trend of bringing to market more SUV-like vehicles. This will continue to help us increase our brand presence. We are confident that our customers will appreciate the new Tiago NRG as much as its predecessor.”