Tata Motors has launched the much-awaited Harrier SUV at a starting price of Rs 12.69 lakh. The five-seat SUV is available in four variants – following the base Harrier XE are the mid-spec XM (Rs 13.75 lakh), XT (Rs 14.95 lakh) and the range-topping XZ (Rs 16.25 lakh).
In terms of styling, the Harrier’s design is quite similar to that of the H5X concept showcased at the 2018 Auto Expo. The Harrier is based on Tata’s Omega Arc platform, which is derived from Land Rover’s D8 platform that underpins the Discovery Sport. Thanks to this, the new Tata SUV is larger than its rivals in terms of dimensions. It measures 4,598mm in length, 1,894mm in width, 1,706mm in height and has a 2,741mm-long wheelbase. Ground clearance is pegged at 205mm. The Harrier has a 425-litre boot and a fuel tank capacity of 50 litres.
As far as features are concerned, the range-topping Harrier XZ comes loaded with equipment such as an 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 7.0-inch screen for the part-digital instrument cluster, a JBL sound system, leather upholstery, reverse camera, automatic headlights and wipers, automatic climate control and cruise control. Also part of the package are six airbags, ABS with EBD, a hill-hold and descent function, corner stability control and a rollover mitigation system.
Powering the Harrier is a Fiat-sourced 2.0-litre diesel engine that produces 140hp and 350Nm of torque. The engine is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox that transfers the power to the front wheels. A Hyundai-sourced automatic gearbox and a petrol engine will join the line-up at a later stage. Although Tata Motors is not offering the Harrier with four-wheel drive, the SUV does get multiple off-road modes that can be selected via a circular knob on the centre console.
Bookings for the Harrier have been open for the last couple of months, and deliveries are set to begin later this month. Due to its pricing, the Tata Harrier rivals a wide range of SUVs in the Indian market, including the Hyundai Creta, Jeep Compass and Mahindra XUV500.
Mayank Pareek and Guenter Butschek at the Tata Harrier launch.
Aiming to be a game-changer
Speaking at the launch of the Harrier in Mumbai, Guenter Butschek, CEO and MD, Tata Motors, said, " With this product, Tata Motors has rightfully entered the premium mid-size SUV segment. The Harrier is a strong proof point of our Turnaround 2.0 strategy and it will be a game-changer in the market. I am confident that with the Harrier, Tata Motors Passenger Vehicle Business Unit will continue to win sustainably in the times to come."
Mayank Pareek, president of the Passenger Vehicle Business unit, said, "The all-new Harrier is our most premium offering yet and will attract aspiring buyers with its stunning design and exemplary performance. Built on the Omega Arc, which is derived from Land Rover's legendary D8 Platfom, the Harrier is a testament of our continued efforts to deliver globaI products. The passenger vehicle business is going strength to strength on the back of new products and the Harrier promises to further strengthen our market presence by surpassing aIl current benchmarks and paving entirely new standards for SUVs in India."
Harrier waiting period for around three-months
While the company has seen domestic demand for its new products (Tiago, Tigor, Nexon, Hexa) witnessing a uptick, since the time the company announced its Turnaround strategy. The launch of the Harrier has been one of the most of anticipated. In fact, according to Tata Motors, the waiting period for the premium-SUV is said to be around 3 months, for which the company is also looking to ramp up production to meet the foreseeable demand.
To create a differentiated buying experience, the company says it has trained around 800 people for providing a new buying experience to customers, which it will scale up to 1,000. In addition, the company is testing out this new initiative at a dealership in Mumbai, which it says will be later tweaked and expanded across the country.
Speaking on the upcoming new models Rajendra M Petkar, president and CTO, member of the executive committee, Tata Motors, said that there is still a lot of "whitespaces" where Tata Motors does not have a product in the market. The company is looking at introducing new models there, and these upcoming launches would not "compete" against its existing products.
On the hybrid, alternate and electric powertrain front, Petkar agreed that while electrification is the future, there are other fuels that the company is looking at too. One such area he said where the government is putting a thrust upon was 'CNG' vehicles, while Petkar sees low demand for these vehicles from private buyers, the company is looking at "other customers" who would benefit from such a Tata vehicle.
The SUV battle in India has just turned more exciting and the new product launches should help provide new vigour to flagging sales.
Also read: Tata Motors’ Mayank Pareek: ‘With the Harrier, we have launched a truly global car’
Tata Harrier has ARAI-certified 16.7kpl fuel efficiency
Video: Tata Motors' Chief Technology Officer Rajendra Petkar on the Harrier as the first product based on the modular Omega architecture, potentialities of the new platform, the strategy planned around it, future powertrains and the next key platform – Alpha.
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