Tata Motors is leaving no stone unturned to maximize the potential of its struggling flagship model
The Tata Harrier has been receiving regular updates since its launch in early 2019. With the Harrier diesel BS6 and automatic variant ready for the market, the company has shifted its focus on much awaited petrol variant. An undisguised prototype of Tata Harrier petrol has been spotted testing by automotive enthusiast Prem Kumar. The test mule is seen with with portable emission test rig, signalling that the vehicle is currently undergoing homologation formalities. The petrol variant of the crossover is expected to be ready for the market in the coming months.
The premium crossover based on Land Rover-derived Omega architecture will be powered by a new 1.5-liter direct injection turbocharged petrol engine. The new mill is essentially a four-cylinder version of the existing 1.2-liter three-cylinder Revotron that serves the Nexon and Altroz. Tata Motors had a 4-cylinder unit in mind during the development of the modular engine architecture.
The motor is estimated to develop around 150 hp and 250 Nm of torque. A 6-speed manual transmission will be standard. It is being reported that an automatic variant with paddle shifters would be available at a later stage. Like its three-cylinder sibling, the new motor will offer driving modes. Tata Motors is likely to continue to work on this new petrol engine and may augment it with a mild-hybrid version in the coming years.
Nearly 70% of sales of Nexon comes from petrol variants, indicating that customers are shying away from diesel even in SUV segments. The change will be more pronounced in the BS6 era with pricier diesel variants. For reference, if we look at rival MG Hector’s sales split since its launch, over 50% of sales comes from the petrol variants.
The addition of Harrier petrol variant is expected to bring significant incremental sales to the table as it will widen the audience base. As of now, the crossover has been registering an average monthly sales figure of about 700 units. The same engine will also cater to the soon-to-be-launched Gravitas 7-seater.
The Tata Harrier petrol variant will compete with the MG Hector petrol which features a 1.5-liter unit (can also be opted with mild-hybrid system), Jeep Compass 1.4-liter petrol and the upcoming next generation Mahindra XUV500 which will feature a larger 2.0-liter turbocharged unit. The new engine could make the Harrier’s entry level price point more tempting than before but we will have to wait to know for sure.