Tata Motors and Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), it seems have started working on a new project to make an SUV for the Indian market.
The current Land Rover Freelander 2
The new SUV is expected to be based on a modified version of Land Rover's LR2 platform which also forms the basis for its Freelander model. This will be a five or seven seater and is targeted to cost around the Rs 20-25lakh price bracket. The car will not be completely based on the Freelander but instead will see a 50-85 per cent revision, though it is likely to retain the monocoque chassis. The engine will not be carried over from JLR and we believe Tata's own 2.2litre diesel engine with a new transmission will be used.
The model is expected to be launched in the market by 2016 or later and will be Tata's flagship car. The SUV will be sold with the Tata badging with JLR quality in its gene. It will compete with Toyota's Fortuner, Mitsubishi Pajero and Ford Endeavour. There is always demand for SUVs in the Indian market and we will just have to wait and see how this car stacks up against the competition. It will be interesting to also see how this SUV does especially with Tata's current flagship, the Aria not doing particularly well in the market.