The Tata Harrier is not available with an all wheel drive system, even as an option. What’s available though is an off road mode that varies torque between the front wheels of the SUV that lets the Harrier get out of sticky situations such as sand and slush. Here’s a new video that shows how the Tata Harrier can handle some mild off roading even without an all wheel drive system to help it.
Video courtesy Sumitro
As the video shows, the Tata Harrier has good ground clearance, and decent approach and departure angles. These aspects of the SUV allow it to take the rough stuff without damaging the under body or other parts. The off-road mode that’s available as one of the driving modes of this SUV also allows it to clear some obstacles effortlessly, even when one of its wheels is in the air. Now, this is the kind of stuff that many front wheel drive SUVs will struggle with, and the Harrier makes it look quite simple. Of course, there’s some driver skill and spotting involved but then, the Harrier does come across as quite a capable SUV even in front wheel drive guise.
The Harrier is built on a Indianized version of the Land Rover D8 platform, which currently underpins the Discovery Sport SUV among other models. Tata Motors has deleted the lighter and expensive aluminium bits of the D8 platform in favour of steel bits.
The revised platform that the Tata Harrier uses is called the OMEGA. While the steering and suspension response, and other bits have been designed to closely mimic Land Rovers, the wheelbase also remains the same. However, the engine and gearbox are different.
Instead of borrowing the engine and gearbox from Land Rover, Tata Motors has opted to go with the Fiat Multijet turbocharged diesel engine that’s also seen on the Jeep Compass. The 2 liter Fiat Multijet engine with 140 Bhp-350 Nm is paired to a 6 speed manual gearbox. But this is also a reason why Tata Motors has not offered an all wheel drive system with the Harrier despite the fact that such an option being available with the Jeep Compass. Confused? Well, the wheelbase of the Harrier and Compass are different as the former uses the longer wheelbase of the Land Rover Discovery Sport.
This means that there is significant re-engineering required of the all wheel drive system if it is to be offered on the Harrier. To avoid pushing up the final cost of the vehicle due to the additional cost of engineering an all wheel drive system for the Harrier, Tata Motors has chosen to go with the off-road driving mode that control only the front wheels of the SUV. While an off-road driving mode is no match for an all wheel drive system, the video above demonstrates that it can still do its bit to help the Harrier escape a sticky urban situation when there’s loss in traction in one of the front wheels.
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