Tata wowed the crowd at the 2018 Auto Expo with the H5X concept. Now we can finally see the first pictures of the real car rolling off the production line. As promised by Tata’s designers, the Harrier looks almost the same as the concept, with design cues carried over almost intact. Sure, certain styling elements have been toned down but the final form is rather attractive.
What impresses right away is the high-mounted grille and the strips of LED lighting positioned at the base of the bonnet. This gives it a robust and strong face and Tata has moved the main headlights below these LED elements – which is a rather interesting (if polarising) design touch. The Harrier is the first model to be designed to Tata’s new Impact Design 2.0 philosophy and one of its highlights is the prominent, three-dimensional ‘humanity line’ (Tata-speak for the styling element that underlines the grille and headlights). The ‘tri-arrow’ pattern that is an integral element of the styling package is also seen on the headlight and fog-lamp enclosures lower down on the front bumper.
Just like the Nexon, the Harrier doesn’t have a distinctly upright cabin. The cabin is a little low-slung, somewhat sporty and the floating roof effect is a cool touch. There’s also a lot of cladding at the base of the doors, while the exaggerated wheel arches – again an element of Impact Design 2.0 – adds visual mass to the SUV. Around the rear, slim petal-like tail-lights are linked by a blacked-out element. A spoiler atop the windscreen and neatly executed cladding and brushed-silver elements on the bumper complete the look.
There are no images of the interiors yet, although in the past, Tata has said that Impact Design 2.0 cars will boast clutter-free and practical interiors that will be high on quality. Spy images have also revealed a few of the features that will be available on the Harrier – such as push-button start, steering-mounted controls and a large (possibly a 7.0-inch) touchscreen infotainment system.
What’s even more interesting is that this is the first time Tata and Land Rover are working together to make a car on the same platform. The platform is called OmegaArc and it promises to take Tata SUVs to the next level. Thanks to the D8 platform it’s based on, the Harrier is likely to benefit from the driving dynamics attributed to Land Rovers, as it will have a similar floorpan and steering gear. Although some of the aluminium bits will be replaced by more affordable steel parts to keep costs in check. Tata Motors has been dropping several teasers in the build-up to the launch and has said the SUV has been tested for 2.2 million kilometres on the toughest of terrains. The Harrier has been spotted testing in different parts of the country – from Manali to Bangalore – and has even been tested on the Kari Motor Speedway and the NATRAX test facility.
Under the hood is the engine, which has been christened the ‘Kryotec’. Tata says the name is inspired by the cryogenic rocket engine, known for its power and reliability. There’s no official word on exact engine displacement or power and torque figures, but, as is widely known, the engine is derived from Fiat’s four-cylinder Multijet II diesel unit that powers the Jeep Compass and is expected to make around 140hp in the Harrier. Tata Motors also previously confirmed the Harrier will come with multiple drive modes that work in conjunction with the terrain response modes of the ESP. A seven-seat variant will follow, powered by a more potent 170hp version of the same motor.
In addition to the standard 6-speed manual gearbox, Tata will also offer the Harrier with the option of a Hyundai-sourced 6-speed torque convertor automatic transmission. There was speculation of the Harrier’s automatic being a Fiat-sourced 9-speed torque converter, but Tata Motors has chosen to go with the Hyundai transmission. Interestingly, this is the same transmission on offer in the Hyundai Tucson SUV.
Autocar India recently accessed a dealer communication document that reveals the on-road prices for the Harrier will be in the range of Rs 16-21 lakh. At this time, Tata Motors has also officially begun accepting bookings for the Harrier. The booking amount is set at Rs 30,000, and prospective buyers can book the Harrier at dealerships, or even online. Market launch and the price announcement for the Harrier are likely to take place in early January 2019, with deliveries expected to commence in the second half of the same month. The Harrier will rival the likes of the Hyundai Creta, Renault Captur, the upcoming Nissan Kicks and the production version of the Kia SP Concept SUV.