To compete with SUVs like the Toyota Fortuner, Mahindra XUV 500, Tata Motors has collaborated with Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) to bring out an SUV that is currently codenamed Q501. Built on the same platform as the new Discovery Sports (L550), the Q501 is likely to be positioned above the Safari Storme.
The upcoming SUV will be different from the Land Rover in terms of design and powertrain, however, the structural bits like floorpan will be the same. It is expected that Tata Motors would use the 2.0 Multijet II engine of Fiat that will dish out between 150 bhp and 175bhp of power.
As the engine will be imported initially, it would add on to the cost of production but once Fiat localizes the engine at its manufacturing facility in Ranjangoan (a joint venture of Fiat and Tata Motors) for its future jeep products, the cost of production will be reduced. The company expects to record good sales figures for the SUV that would help the company achieve its economies of scale.
The year in which the SUV could be launched in India is yet to be confirmed. Tata Motors has already launched the Tata Zest and Bolt and is working towards launching the ‘Kite’ sedan and hatchback. The company is also working towards a smaller Aria based crossover which will be positioned above the Nexon compact SUV that is scheduled to be launched in 2017.
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