Today, Tata Motors own a plethora of luxury automotive brands across the world. It’s sometimes hard to believe that a homegrown name is of THAT much value in the world. Amongst so many reasons that Tata Motors has made us proud of, there are cars made by them in the years gone by, that left a significant mark good and bad in their own time, however, with so many new cars launching every now and then, the following cars have been forgotten. Let’s take you through the memory lane.
Tata recently showcased the Sierra concept at the 2020 Auto Expo that attracted a large number of people. Years ago, the Tata launched the Sierra as the first proper SUV to be sold in India. The Sierra came with a futuristic three-door design and a large glasshouse design in the rear. It was an SUV that came much before time and offered class-leading features too. The Tata Sierra also offered a 4X4 version at a later date but it failed to attract the customers. It came powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine.
Estates never became popular in India but many manufacturers tried their luck including Tata Motors. The Estate was inspired by the Mercedes-Benz station wagons of the 1980s, which Tata assembled in 1980s. The Tata Estate never became popular in the Indian just like every other estate vehicles in the country but it did look quite good.
The Tatamobile was the first pick-up truck from the manufacturer that was aimed at the family car buyers. The Mobile has launched way ahead of its time in a market that is extremely sensitive for fuel-efficiency. The Tatamobile did not find a place in the market since people did not see regular use of such a vehicle. It came powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine that generates a maximum power of 68 Bhp.
Tata Safari petrol
If you’re a 90s kid, you will remember the enthusiastic advertisement for Safari Petrol. It was launched in the early 2000s and came powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine that generated a maximum power of 135 Bhp. It was a fast SUV in its time but people were more interested in the 90 Bhp diesel model of the Safari.
Tata Safari 3.0 DICOR
Tata powered the Safari with a version of the Tata 407’s engine! Yes, you read that right. When Tata faced competition from the Mahindra Scorpio in 2002, it launched the Safari with a more powerful 3.0-litre engine. It did not become popular though. A year later, Tata successfully launched the Safari with a new 2.2-litre diesel engine that offered a similar power output as the 3.0-litre DICOR engine.
Tata Indigo Marina
Tata also tried their luck in the station wagon segment. Based on the Tata Indica, the Indigo Marina was a practical and very spacious station wagon. Ratan Tata had one for himself to drive around his dogs too. But most people in the country did not find the use for station wagons and they still don’t.
Tata Indigo XL
The Indica platform formed the base for many cars including the Indigo sedan. Tata also launched a stretched version of the Indigo sedan named as the Indigo XL. It offered more space and was aimed at the people who wanted a chauffeur-driven vehicle. However, it did not become as popular as Tata had wished.
Tata launched the Manza to take on the likes of Honda City and the Maruti Suzuki SX4 but at a much affordable price tag. Sold with both petrol and diesel engines, the Manza was a big step up in quality. It even offered a Fiat Multijet diesel engine in 90 Bhp-200 Nm state of tune and was well accepted by the cab market. The personal car market didn’t bite, and Tata quickly gave up in favour of compact sedans.
The Spacio was a Tata Sumo with a canvas rooftop. The Spacio 3.0 borrowed its 3 litre DI diesel engine from the Tata 407 and was reputed to be load-lugger. This engine’s prodigious low-end grunt, along with the flexibility that only a canvas top can afford, allowed rural taxi operators to squeeze more than 20 people at a time. Tata pulled it off the market rather abruptly, never to build something like this again.
Tata Bolt was a repackaged Indica Vista that offered better quality interior. The Bolt also got ABS and Airbags. However, the market didn’t warm up to the car as it looked similar to the Vista despite all that dressing up. The Bolt continues to be built, but only for the cab market. Personal hatchback buyers have all but forgotten about this car, which shares its mechanicals with the Zest – a compact sedan that continues to be sold even to personal car buyers.