Tata Motors is said to be working on two new luxury SUVs bearing the code-names of Q501 (5 seater) and Q502 (7 seater). Interestingly, the SUVs from Tata Motors could be developed in association with Italian automaker Fiat, with whom the Indian automaker continues to have a joint manufacturing venture at Ranjangaon. In fact, Tata Motors’ current best seller, the Zest compact sedan, is produced at the Tata-Fiat joint manufacturing facility.
Both the Tata Q501 and Q502 luxury SUVs are said to be eyeing the 2 liter Multijet turbo diesel engine that Fiat plans to introduce to India in the form of the Jeep Compass/Patriot replacement, due for a 2016 launch here. To throw some light upon Fiat’s plans for India, the Italian automaker now holds a controlling stake in American car and SUV giant Chrysler, and has plans of introducing the Jeep brand later this year, with brand builders such as the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee.
However, the real action from Jeep in India will start in 2016, with the launch of the Compass/Patriot replacement SUV. This vehicle will be built in India, at the Ranjangaon factory. The facility will serve as an export hub for the Compass/Patriot replacement, and 2017 will see the American brand hitting the Renegade button, and entering the fast growing compact SUV segment here.
Considering that the Jeep Compass/Patriot replacement will be a five seater, the relation that the new Tata SUVs will have with Fiat could be more of an engine sourcing deal rather than platform sharing. Tata Motors is already working on a luxury SUV project with the code-name starting with the Q5 moniker, which is in line with the newest developments that suggest an expansion in this program with Q501 and Q502 code names.
The Q5 badged project was said to have extensive Land Rover inputs, what with the monocoque chassis based current-generation Freelander2 platform forming the basis of the Indian automaker’s new SUV blitz. This also means that the Ingenium range of four cylinder turbo petrol and turbo diesel engines developed for use in Land Rovers and Jaguar vehicles may not find expression in a Tata SUV. The Fiat Multijet turbo diesel engine seems all set to drive Tata Motors’ new utility vehicle strategy.
The 2.0 liter Fiat Multijet turbo diesel engine is a four cylinder unit first developed in 2008. The engine is available in a wide range of tunes, from 110 Bhp-260 Nm to 192 Bhp-380 Nm. The motor uses an aluminium head and a cast iron block, with a twin overhead camshaft layout and four valves per cylinder. This very engine also powers the Jeep Renegade and many other Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo cars sold around the world.