Tata Motors has already indicated that an automatic variant of the Harrier is on its way for launch by the end of 2020. ACI has put out a couple of spyshots claiming that it’s the Harrier Automatic that’s also Bharat Stage 6 (BS6) emission norms compliant. The spyshots reveal a factory fitted sunroof on the Tata Harrier test mule, indicating that a sunroof could be offered on the SUV going forward. So far, Tata has not offered a sunroof on any of its vehicles except the flagship Hexa luxury crossover. Given the segment that the Harrier operates in, an electric sunroof option would make the SUV more appealing to buyers as other similarly priced offerings – the Mahindra XUV500, MG Hector and the Hyundai Creta offer this feature on their top-end trims. Also, sunroofs are becoming popular across segments with even budget cars now getting them on top-end trims.
The spyshots show the Harrier running on steel wheels, and this us likely to be changed in the production version as automakers generally don’t offer the sunroof on the lower trims. Coming to the automatic gearbox, it’ll be a 6 speed torque converter unit sourced from Hyundai. This gearbox is expected be offered with the BS6 compliant 2 liter-4 cylinder turbocharged diesel engine, with higher outputs of 170 Bhp-350 Nm, a state of tune that’s already offered on two other SUVs that use the same engine – Jeep Compass and MG Hector.
The Harrier’s Automatic variants are likely to be offered on the XT and XZ trims, and are likely to be priced around Rs. 1 lakh more than equivalent trims with manual gearboxes.
The Tata Harrier got off to a great start in terms of sales, beating both the Mahindra XUV500 and the Jeep Compass. Competition has risen though, with the well priced MG Hector breathing down the Harrier’s neck. Also, the SUV will face more competition next month with the Kia Seltos all set to be launched. Together, the MG Hector and the Kia Seltos could eat into the Harrier’s sales in a big was as these SUVs offer more engine options and more gearbox options, targeting a wider set of buyers. So, the automatic variant of the Harrier needs to be launched quickly if Tata Motors plans to convince enough buyers to opt for their SUV rather than the likes of the Hector and Seltos. The addition of the sunroof, on both manual and automatic variants, will be another booster shot for Tata’s latest SUV.