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The Tata Tiago JTP and Tigor JTP have been one of the most awaited launches this year. It all started back in February 2018 when Tata Motors first displayed the JTP models at the 2018 Indian Auto Expo. The prospect of a Tata hatchback and notchback with high levels of performance excited Tata enthusiasts and critics alike.
A few months later, Tata launched the Tiago JTP and Tigor JTP at an ex-showroom price of Rs 6.39 lakh and Rs 7.49 lakh respectively. We drive both cars and here are our impressions
Design & Style
Just one look at the JTP twins makes it obvious that they are not the run-of-the-mill standard Tiago and Tigor. The Tata Tiago and Tigor JTP are based on the standard cars but feature several design changes and identical styling.
Up front is an extended bumper with an aggressive design featuring a large trapezoidal lower grille. It also gets new fog lamp housings. A dual-chamber projector headlamp and radiator grille with prominently placed JTP badging and the air scoop on the bonnet complete the design changes up front.
The Tata Tiago and Tigor JTP ride on new diamond-cut black and silver 15-inch alloy wheels that give it a premium feel. The rear view mirrors are painted in contrast to the body colour and the roof and rear spoiler comes with a glossy black finish. At the rear is a clear lens tail lamp with signature LED lighting and JTP badging with a fully-functional twin-barrel exhaust.
The Tata JTP twins feature black interior tones with red accents and this makes it rather sporty and gives the driver a performance-oriented feel. The air-conditioning vents come with red-coloured surrounds, the black leather on the steering wheel comes with red stitching and so do the seats.
The seats come with attractive hexagonal patterns and the carpet on the floor features red-coloured lining and etched JTP logos. The pedals are made of machined aluminum and have rubber grommets in them, adding to the overall sporty feel. Since the cabin is decked in black, the little details like these stand out and make for great interiors.
Stereo & Infotainment
The Tata Tiago JTP and Tigor JTP come with the same infotainment system offered on the top-spec standard cars - ConnectNext by Harman. Harman is one of the premium audio system developers and manufacturers in the world and have been supplying infotainment systems to Tata Motors for use on their premium cars for a long time now.
The Tata Tiago features a 5-inch touchscreen infotainment unit with several connectivity options. It features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It may not be one of the largest screens on offer in the segment, but it definitely is one of the best-sounding units. It also comes with steering-mounted controls including voice commands.
Sound is reproduced via eight speakers from Harman. Bass frequencies as well as the mid-notes are produced accurately while the highs are not so pronounced, which is good.
Practicality, Comfort & Boot Space
Tata has always been known to produce cars that are spacious and practical in nature and the JTP twins are no different. Space for passengers at the rear and in front is more than adequate. The basic cabin layout remains the same as on the standard Tiago and Tigor.
The seats are comfortable as always and under thigh support is just adequate. The rear seat is wide enough to fit three people and has good padding to allow for a good comfortable drive. The Tata Tiago JTP has a boot space of 242 litres which is the same as the standard Tiago hatchback.
Though some of its competitors offer more space, it is adequate for a hatchback of this size. The Tigor JTP on the other hand offers 419 litres of boot space thanks to its notchback design. Seating comfort at the rear is better in the Tigor JTP because of the 50mm increase in wheelbase, which in turn has given rise to more legroom.
The Tiago JTP comes with a conventional boot-release mechanism with the release lever located in the driver's side footwell next to the fuel-cap release lever. The Tigor JTP on the other hand features an electric boot release with the release button on the dashboard.
Since the boot release button is located next to the sport mode button, there is a possibility for one to open the boot accidentally. The Tigor JTP also comes with automatic climate control while the Tiago makes do with manually-controlled air-conditioning.
Engine Performance & Driving Impressions
The Tata Tiago JTP and Tigor JTP are powered by the same 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine. In this case though, it is turbocharged and justly so because they are performance cars. The new-generation Revotron engine puts out a maximum power figure of 112bhp at 5,000RPM and has a peak torque output of 150Nm between 2,000-4,000RPM.
The same engine in the standard cars put out 83.8bhp and 114Nm. Jayem Automotives along with engineers from Tata Motors have managed to squeeze out this performance by turbocharging the engine and tuning it well.
Transmission duties are still handled by a 5-speed manual transmission, but the ratios are altered to suit performance driving and allow for better acceleration. Tata claims the JTP twins can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 10 seconds and that is quicker than any other car in this price range or even slightly higher. Top speed though has been limited to 160km/h.
Though that isn't exactly slow, it would have been great to have a slightly higher boasting figure. The Tata Tiago JTP and Tigor JTP feature two driving modes that can be switched using a button on the dashboard - city and sport. Sport mode as it suggests is intended for sporty driving with everything in the car turned up to the max.
In city mode, torque output comes down to 115Nm and the engine returns a slightly better fuel efficiency figure. When it comes to driving dynamics, there are no differences in the two modes. The cars feel almost perfect when the engine is kept above 2,500RPM as that is where the sweet spot actually is.
We all love rev-happy petrol engines, but this being a turbocharged 3-cylinder motor has a strong surge of torque in the mid-range. For enthusiasts though, the best way to get the best out of this engine is to upshift at around 4,000RPM and downshift no lesser than 2,000RPM.
This keeps the turbo spooling and the engine torquey while getting the best acceleration. Also keeping enthusiasts happy are the redesigned air intake and exhaust that make the three-cylinder motor sound snarly.
The blow-off valve for the turbocharger has not been muffled and is very much audible, making gear-shifts and mid-acceleration throttle lift-offs fun. It went to an extent where we would accelerate and then lift-off just to hear the blow-off valve.
Jayem Tata Special Vehicles have not just given the Tiago and Tigor more power, but have also sorted out the driving dynamics. The front suspension has been tuned for better handling, and the rear end is now suspended by a Twist beam with coil spring mounted on hydraulic shock absorbers. The hatchback and notchback now also ride on wider tyres that offer better grip.
All of this when put together, delivers a brilliant handling experience in the twisties. Potholes and bumpy roads does tend to unsettle the Tiago just a little, but the Tigor remains planted. The cars ride lower because of the change in suspension, but the bigger wheel size has compensated for it resulting in only a 4mm reduction in ground clearance.
Body roll is controlled and the steering is precise. The steering system too has been re-calibrated and now comes with an active return feature. This gives more feedback to the driver than a conventional electric power steering system and betters the overall driving experience.
Owing to the increase in wheelbase and length, the Tigor JTP feels a little more planted on highways and bad roads, but the Tiago JTP feels nimbler and more agile. To be honest, we prefer the latter
Tata Tiago & Tigor Specification Overview
|Engine||1,199cc, Turbocharged Petrol|
|No. Of Cylinders||3-Cylinder|
|Max Power||112.44 @5,000RPM|
|Max Torque||150Nm @2,000-4,000RPM|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||35L|
Pricing, Mileage & Colours
The Tata Tiago JTP retails at an ex-showroom price of Rs 6.39 lakh. A hot hatch with a power output over 100bhp at this price is the best value-for-money deal for a petrolhead. The Tigor JTP on the other hand retails at Rs 7.49 lakh.
The Tata Tiago JTP and Tigor JTP mileage figure, at 15km/l isn't too bad at all considering its performance characteristics. We did see an occasional 25km/l on the real-time fuel efficiency indicator, but that number came down to single digits when the throttle was pinned to the floor. There isn't much a difference in mileage as the difference in weight is just 35 kilograms.
The Tata JTP twins are being offered in just two colours - Berry Red and Pearlescent White. Both colours come with a glossy black roof and the Berry Red shade comes with glossy black outer rear view mirrors whereas the same is bright red in colour on the Pearlescent White shade.
Safety & Key Features
The Tata Tiago JTP and Tigor JTP are equipped with dual airbags up front. It also comes with ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System) and EBD (Electronic Brake Force Distribution).
For the first time in any car from Tata Motors, the braking system also comes with Corner Stability Control. Tata has really worked on getting the cars to corner quickly and that is exactly where Corner Stability Control comes into play, keeping the cars safe while driving quickly in the twisties.
The Tata Tiago JTP, being a hot hatchback logically competes with the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS, Volkswagen Polo GT TSI and Abarth Punto. However, when looked at from the pricing point-of-view, the Tata Tiago JTP doesn't really have any direct competition.
|Model||Displacement / No. Of Cylinders||Power/Torque (BHP/NM)||Starting Price|
|Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS||998cc / 3-Cylinder||101/150||8.45 lakh|
|Volkswagen Polo GT TSI||1,198cc / 4-Cylinder||103/175||9.40 lakh|
|Abarth Punto||1,368cc / 4-Cylinder||145/212||10.23 lakh|
|Tata Tiago JTP||1,199cc / 3-cylinder||112/150||6.39 lakh|
At a price of just Rs 6.39 lakh, the Tiago JTP undercuts all its competitors by a large margin while having a higher power output than the Baleno RS as well as the Polo GT TSI. The Tata Tigor JTP though slots into a unique position and doesn't really have any direct competition.
- The Tata Tiago JTP and Tigor JTP were developed by Tata Motors and Jayem Automotives under a new Joint Venture Called Jayem Tata Special Vehicles
- Jayem Tata Special Vehicles was formed in 2017 with Coimbatore-based Jayem Automotives
- Jayem Automotives has had an illustrious history, playing a big role in the Indian automotive scene and also in motorsport.
- Before Tata Motors, Jayem Automotives worked with Mahindra & Mahindra and several other manufacturers to develop automotive components
Tata's passenger vehicles are not utilitarian anymore but are actually desirable with due credit to their new design language. With the launch of their performance cars, Tata Motors is looking at drawing the enthusiasts. Tata has already won the pricing battle and left the competition far behind in that area.
Now it all boils down to the after sales service and how the select few dealerships handle it. Only 30 dealerships across the country have been authorised by Tata motors to sell and service JTP cars.