The news about Jaguar Land Rover’s parent company, the India-based Tata, using some of JLR’s platforms for its own models isn’t really news. That information has been floating around since last summer. However, it appears Tata has now tapped the new Land Rover Discovery Sport’s LR-MS underpinnings to be the first platform it will use in constructing a new segment of “world-class” vehicles.
Tata Motors may have a slew of SUVs on its portfolio, not to mention owning Land Rover, but the Indian-based automaker is finally ready to dive into the crossover market with the launch of the Aria.
The crossover is powered by a 2.2-liter diesel engine that produces around 140 horsepower. It also comes with a number of features including traction control, ABS, ESP, six air bags, and a higher ride height that makes it look more like an SUV than what’s classified as a crossover.
The Aria’s interior is also chalk-full of high-end features including power mirrors, rain sensing wipers, a GPS nav-sat system, automatic climate control, height adjustable seats, glove box chiller, and Bluetooth. The features seem fitting for a vehicle Tata describes as a “luxurious creation with the finesse of a sedan and the muscle of an SUV all blended in one car.”
Tata has yet to release pricing and availability of the Aria crossover, but according to the brand, the car will most likely be sold in India exclusively.
General Motors declared that they have no intentions in competing against Tata’s $2500 Nano. General Motors Asia Pacific president David N Reilly stated that they cannot compromise with the Chevrolet brand by making a competitor but are looking at making another small-car below the Chevrolet Spark’s price point.
The Chevrolet Spark is at present, the entry-level model of GM priced at US $7564 (ex-showroom price, Delhi). But nothing about the cost aspect was revealed for this new car which is planned to enter the Indian market sometime in the next two years. GM will develop this car with other similar International markets in mind and will use it to attain its target of 10 per cent market share in India by 2010.
At present, three-fourths of the cars sold in India are small cars which has evolved into a major small-car hub. Toyota, Renault, Ford, Hyundai and Fiat are all developing their own Nano versions cheaper than anything else in their product range.
Rising crude oil prices is the reason why people not only in India, but all over the world prefer small, economical cars which are easy on the environment too. But crude oil prices are not ascending alone. The cost of raw materials which includes steel and aluminium, which are used to make vital components in a car, are also increasing.
The big question remains to be safety. At such rock-bottom prices, will the safety factor be given adequate importance by car makers?
Really??;seriously??;is it so?;Impossible;are you kidding me?-those were some responses of the Indian people to the OLRC(One lakh rupee car) when Tata Motors proposed the plan of making it. Is it going to be an auto rickshaw with four wheels?;is it a golf cart with doors??;is it going to even look like a car?-Those were some other interesting questions posed. Everything about this small car was kept under wraps during its probation period and it was like a top secret military mission which everyone wanted to know about but couldn’t. Here is a topspeed.com special article written to help you know all that you must about the Tata Nano.