TATA-LAND ROVER SUVS
RRUMOURS OF A Freelander 2-based Tata SUV have been floating around since early this year and now Tata has decided to co-develop two new SUVs along with its subsidiary, Land Rover. Code-named the Q501 and Q502, the co-developed SUVs will go up against the likes of the Ford Endeavour, SsangYong Rexton, and Toyota's Fortuner. If priced in the ` 15 lakh to ` 25 lakh range, the SUVs will keep the competition on their toes.
Both SUVs will be based on the now discontinued Land Rover Freelander 2 platform (effectively replaced by the recently launched Discovery Sport) though to keep costs low, over 50 per cent of parts used will be indigenised. Hopefully Land Rover's inputs should help Tata up overall quality, including the interiors.
At least one of the SUVs will come with both five-seater and sevenseater configurations, while the smaller (and cheaper) of the new SUVs will replace the aging Safari Storme.
The jointly-developed SUVs are being made for the developing markets including South East Asia and the Middle East and should be available for launch in 2017. Tata hopes to sell around 80,000 units a year of both its new models, in all markets.
Besides the underpinnings, it is probable that JLR's new Ingenium family of engines may find a place in the new SUVs. The 2.0-litre diesel (code-named AJ200D) produces 161bhp and 380Nm of peak torque, and is claimed to deliver an impressive fuel efficiency of 27.61kmpl.
THE TWO SUVS, CODE-NAMED Q501 AND Q502, WILL TARGET SOUTH EAST ASIA AND THE MIDDLE EAST MARKETS
However, for a lower-spec variant, Tata may install the Aria's 2.2L Varicor diesel motor developing 148bhp and 320Nm of torque.
The partnership will be a crucial element of Tata Motors' revival - providing a sophisticated platform and powertrain. The Zest has already been well recieved, which will soon be followed by the Bolt hatchback and Nexon compact SUV so things are getting better on the car front. The JLR partnership will result in a new family to replace the Safari and Aria, both of which are long in the tooth and quite clearly lacking the chops to take on the likes of the Duster, XUV et all.