Blast from the past: Ratan Tata shows off Aria concept car on video

Tata Motors has become one of the most popular manufacturers in the Indian market in the present time. However, there is a long journey behind it and Tata Motors has remained active in the passenger motorcycle vehicle space since 1991. The Tata Sierra was the brand’s first vehicle in the passenger segment – a vehicle that is still popular among the enthusiasts. Tata Motors currently offers a range of passenger vehicles including hatchback, sedans and SUVs and has a large number of commercial heavy vehicles too. However, the present position of the brand has not come without experimentation. In the past, Tata Motors has launched a number of concept models, however, this one here is a special one and it is a convertible. Here is a video that shows Mr Ratan Tata himself introducing the Tata Aria concept twenty years ago.

The video is from 2000 Auto Expo, which was the fifth Auto Expo held in Delhi, India. The car unveiled by Ratan Tata and Bollywood actor Akshay Khanna is named as Aria. Yes, the name that was used by the production MUV around ten years later.

The Tata Aria Concept looks like a brand-new vehicle but it is based on the popular Indica hatchback. It should be noted that the Tata Indica is a special car for the Indian market as it is the first-ever fully indigenously developed vehicle. The Aria convertible concept was a two-door vehicle which was meant for two passengers. While introducing the Tata Aria concept, Mr Ratan Tata also talked about the design philosophy of the vehicle. Mr Tata also gave an insight into the designing, engineering and manufacturing a car in India, which was a big task back then.

It was a halo model, which was never meant to enter production. That is why Tata Motors did not reveal many details about the car. However, in the same year, a coupe version of the vehicle was introduced in the market, which was also a concept version. The coupe version of the Aria made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, where Tata Motors reveal some of their biggest upcoming products. However, even the coupe version never made it to the production.

The engine details of both the Aria convertible and coupe remain a mystery. However, we do know that the engine produces a maximum power of 140 PS. No further details about the engine or the transmission were revealed by the manufacturer.

The Aria name did make it to the production line but on a completely different product. In 2010, Tata launched the Aria MPV, which did not do very well in the market and was later replaced with the all-new Hexa. Tata has launched a slew of vehicles in the Indian market that many believe to be launched much before the market became ready for such vehicles.

Also, the Tata Indica platform that underpins the Aria concept models was extremely versatile and became the base for Indigo sedan, Indigo Marina station wagon and many other vehicles. Currently, Tata is working to launch the all-new HBX and will soon launch the Altroz turbo-petrol version.