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Satish Kalepu Satish Kalepu Sunday 07 January 2007

Indica Xeta 1.2

 Tata Motors is launching a smaller version of its petrol-engined Indica called the Xeta 1.2. It is powered by a smaller petrol engine which has an output of 65.3bhp and a peak torque of 10.4kgm at 2600rpm. Displacing 1193cc, this engine will be Tata’s entry car until the Tata One Lac car is launched.


Tata has reduced the capacity of the motor by using a shorter stroke piston and as a result the motor is likely to gain in responsiveness. The bore of the piston, however, stays the same at 75mm, and this keeps costs down as well as changes are only needed in one area of the motor. Aside from the engine, the Xeta 1.2 also has lower gearing to improve its driveability.

This version is the company's entry-level model in the Xeta range and even though it qualifies for the lower excise duty of 16 percent applicable on small cars, the company does not plan to offer it at a lower price. The company was believed to be losing money on the Xeta 1.4, which has an incredibly attractive entry price. This is an attempt at making the model more profitable for the company as well as offering a wider choice to buyers.

The current Xeta 1.4 will now be offered only as a top-end version. The upshot of the smaller capacity motor, if Tata gets it right, is likely to be improved fuel economy, something that is sure to endear itself to entry motorists. Much will also depend on the way Tata loads the Xeta 1.2. This is likely to be yet another step forward for Tata Motors in its quest to become a bigger player in the petrol small car segment.