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New Tata Nexon Test Mule Spy Test – CNG, Hybrid Or Flex Fuel?


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Tata Nexon Test Mule - CNG, Hybrid or Flex Fuel
Tata Nexon Test Mule – CNG, Hybrid or Flex Fuel

With the government’s policy in favor of flex-fuel engines, it is possible that carmakers like Tata Motors are actively working on the transition.

A new Nexon variant has been spotted on road tests, which could be equipped with a hybrid petrol powertrain. This follows earlier reports in 2018, which said that Tata Motors is working on a hybrid system for the Nexon. It was indicated that orders have been placed for thousands of electric junction boxes, a key component of a hybrid powertrain. However, it’s not entirely certain whether the new test mule hybrid is the Nexon.

New Tata Nexon Test Mule – Mild or Strong Hybrid

As of now, there is no official word from Tata Motors regarding the hybrid powertrain for the Nexon. Another thing that is not clear is whether the Nexon will get a mild hybrid or a strong hybrid powertrain. Considering the sub-4-metre SUV segment, it is likely that a mild-hybrid powertrain will make more sense from a cost point of view.

A strong hybrid could drive up prices, which may not be a favorable development for the Nexon. One of the reasons I love the Nexon is that it is one of the most competitively priced SUVs out there. If Tata is working on a hybrid version of the Nexon, it is more likely that it will be equipped with a mild-hybrid powertrain.

Nexon Flex-Fuel Variants

The new Nexon test mule could also be a flex-fuel variant. This notion is understandable, as the government has been strongly supporting the introduction of flex-fuel engines in India. Negotiations have already taken place with some car makers, who have expressed their desire to manufacture flex-fuel vehicles. To promote flex-fuel vehicles, the government has covered it under the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme.

2021 Tata Nexon CNG Test Spy
2021 Tata Nexon CNG Test Spied?

Apart from the BS6 compliant (E85) flex-fuel engine, other related components are now covered under the PLI scheme. It consists of components such as ethanol sensor, electronic control unit (ECU), heating control unit, heating element and heated fuel rail. Most of the auto components required for a flex-fuel car are covered under the PLI scheme. This will encourage manufacturers to move to flex-fuel cars.

It is possible that flex-fuel engines may also be made mandatory in the near future. The shift to flex-fuel engines will allow the country to cut its oil import bill. In the initial phase, it is planned to achieve 20% blending of ethanol with petrol by 2025. This will be gradually increased to obtain an 85% ethanol mixture.

Tata Nexon CNG

Apart from these, Tata Motors also has plans to launch CNG option in its cars under Rs 10 lakh. Tata will launch its first CNG car next year. It could be in the form of Tiago CNG. After that, the CNG options are likely to be expanded to others – Tigor, Altroz ​​and Nexon.

It remains to be seen what Tata plans for the Nexon. The SUV is a bestseller in the sub-4-metre SUV segment while the Nexon EV is the best-selling electric car in the country.

In its current form, the Nexon is offered with a 1.2L turbo petrol motor and a 1.5L turbo diesel motor. The Nexon petrol makes 120 PS at 5,500 rpm and 170 Nm at 1,750-4,000 rpm. The diesel variant produces 110 PS at 4,000 rpm and 260 Nm at 1,500-2,750 rpm. Transmission options include a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed AMT for both the engines.

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