Tata Motors is readying up an automatic gearbox equipped version of their latest vehicle – the Harrier SUV. The Tata Harrier Automatic will launch late this year. A festive season launch seems likely for the latest Tata SUV, which will use a 6 speed torque converter automatic gearbox sourced from Hyundai. This gearbox is expected to be the same unit that’s offered on the likes of the Hyundai Creta and Tucson SUVs.
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The Tata Harrier Diesel Automatic is likely to be priced at least Rs. 1 lakh higher than equivalent manual variants. A lot of buyers in the premium SUV segments are now opting for automatic gearbox equipped cars, and this is the reason why Tata Motors needs to bring in the Harrier Automatic into the market quickly.
The Harrier’s competitors such as the Hyundai Creta and Mahindra XUV500 already offer automatic gearboxes with the diesel variants. Later this year, even the Jeep Compass will get a diesel automatic option through the Trailhawk top-of-the-line trim. The Compass’ automatic gearbox will be a class leading 9 speed torque converter unit.
Coming back to the Tata Harrier, the diesel-automatic variant of the SUV will use the same 2 liter Fiat Multijet turbocharged diesel engine with 140 Bhp-350 Nm outputs. The diesel automatic variants of the SUV will also be front wheel driven, and Tata Motors has no plans to launch an all wheel drive version of the Harrier.
Apart from the diesel automatic trim, Tata Motors is said to be working on two more iterations of the Harrier. One will be a petrol engined trim and the other will be a petrol-hybrid trim. Both these trims will be launched only sometime in 2020, after the new Bharat Stage 6 (BS6) emission norms kick in.
Apart from not having an automatic gearbox, another handicap that the Harrier currently suffers from is the lack of a petrol engine option. The addition of petrol and petrol-hybrid trims on the SUV will make it appeal to a wider set of buyers, whose other options currently are the Creta, XUV500 and Compass.
Tata Motors is also working on a much larger version of the Harrier, code-named the H7X. The Tata H7X will be an extended body version of the Harrier, capable of seating 7 adults across three rows. The SUV has been spied testing on Indian roads, and will share the Land Rover derived OMEGA platform with the Harrier. It will have totally different styling though, which is intended to make it look distinct from the Harrier.
The H7X will be showcased at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, in early March. The official launch of this SUV will take place by the end of this year. As for pricing, the Tata H7X is expected to cost about a couple of lakhs more than the Harrier. Also, the H7X will get more powerful with a higher state of tune for the 2 liter diesel engine. Other mechanical bits are expected to be identical with those of the Harrier.