Tata Motors has been testing the upcoming Q501 code-named SUV in and around Pune for many months now. The concept/production version of the vehicle is expected to be shown at the 2018 Indian Auto Expo. Currently, the SUV (presumed to be the Q501) using a Land Rover Discovery Sport body as a disguise is being extensively tested ahead of its market launch in late 2018.
The SUV is being developed with extensive inputs from Land Rover, a global luxury SUV giant that Tata Motors now owns. It’ll be based on the Land Rover Freelander2 SUV platform. It’ll feature a brand new design philosophy from Tata, called the ‘Impact Design 2.0’. The Q501 will be a 5 seat SUV that is expected to challenge the Hyundai Creta compact SUV.
Other details about the new SUV are not known as yet. It’s safe to assume that the upcoming vehicle will be offered with petrol and diesel engines. Demand for petrol SUVs has increased in India, and this is why even Tata is expected to offer a petrol engine on the new SUV. Both the petrol and diesel engines could be turbocharged as the vehicle will have to be ready to meet the stringent Bharat Stage 6 (BS6) emission norms that’ll come into effect from April 2020.
Class leading features are expected to be offered on the Q501 as this will be necessary to make a big impact in the highly competitive compact SUV segment. Tata is a late entrant to this segment, and will have to offer much more than the current market leader – the Hyundai Creta. The Q501 will be followed by a larger, 7 seat sibling, presently code-named as Q502. The Q502 will be costlier, and will challenge SUVs such as the Mahindra XUV500, Jeep Compass and the Hyundai Tucson.