Tata Motors have not made any official announcements regarding developing a potential state vehicle
The heavily armoured VVIP cars always have a special place in the hearts of nation’s car enthusiasts. Moreover, it is an excellent marketing opportunity for the car brand as the vehicle enjoys a lot of screen time in national and international news. While major car making countries like the US, Germany and China use their homegrown vehicles as official state vehicles for their respective leaders (even when they travel abroad), India relies on foreign brands to safely transport top leaders.
Official Indian state car
The current official state car for the Indian prime minister is a heavily fortified Range Rover Sentinel SUV. It was preceded by the BMW 7 Series. The president of India is ferried around in the Mercedes S600 Pullman Guard limousine. While Land Rover is owned by Tata Motors, the Range Rover Sentinel doesn’t exactly qualify as a homegrown state car.
Now that both Mahindra and Tata Motors have come a long way, it would be nice to see one of them coming up with the country’s own state car. Given India’s penchant towards SUVs, an armoured and stretched high-rider would be an interesting proposition. Rendering specialist Shoeb R Kalania has envisioned one such example based on the Tata Harrier through his speculative rendering and we like the end result.
Tata Harrier VIP limousine
The Tata Harrier VIP limousine, as evident from the rendering, certainly looks the part as a potential official state vehicle of India. It has the road presence as well as the pedigree (the platform has been derived from Land Rover). The long wheelbase configuration would also offer the main occupant good levels of comfort.
The additional length does mess with the Harrier’s beautiful proportions but then most official state cars are unnaturally long in a bid to offer best possible comfort. For example, the Cadillac Beast, the US President’s official car, is pretty long. It goes without saying that these cars offer the best in safety. They are bullet proof as well as offer protection from bombs and land mines.
Will Tata develop an armoured state car?
With Jaguar Land Rover’s experienced Special Vehicles division at its disposal, developing an armoured Tata Harrier VIP limousine will not be a huge technical challenge for the Indian automaker. However, given that only a few units will be made and developing such a vehicle requires huge engineering effort, costs involved will be astronomical.
So, the question is, will Tata Motors be inclined towards spending a huge sum just to have bragging rights? Or will the firm be happy with continuing to supply Range Rover Sentinel which already has much better scale owing to its global presence? We think, the latter (the status quo) makes a better business sense.
That said, how cool it would be if the head of state arrives at the independence day parade in a homegrown VIP limousine?