Amped up by the Nexon EV's success, which has made Tata Motors the EV market leader in India, the brand is surging forward with a comprehensive electric model onslaught. Having established a new EV subsidiary TPEML and a war chest of Rs 15,000 crore on product development, Tata Motors has announced that it will have a 10-EV portfolio in the next five years.
Arguably the most significant of these, and the most talked about since its debut in concept form at Auto Expo 2020, will be the all-new Tata Sierra. Sources tell us it has now been green-lit for production, and what makes it particularly significant is that it will be Tata’s first stand-alone EV-only model, and the first on a new ‘Born Electric’ platform. Here are a few key things you need to know about it.
There will be no petrol or diesel Sierra
Our older readers may remember the Sierra as being the first true SUV from Tata Motors (or TELCO, as it was known back then). It featured a unique three-door design and an iconic styling feature in the form of long (unopenable) rear windows that curved upwards into the roof. It was based on a pick-up truck platform, powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine (first naturally aspirated, later turbocharged), and got the option of 4WD.
However, nostalgic nameplate aside, the new Sierra, other than some design cues that may pay homage to the original, will have little in common with the original. For a start, there will be no diesel engine – in fact, no combustion engine at all, ever. The new Sierra will be a born-electric product, which means it will be engineered as an EV from the very start, with no option of a conventional petrol or diesel engine, thanks to its new Sigma platform that simply won’t accommodate an ICE powertrain. More on this in a bit.
Sources have told us that, unlike the three-door layout of the original, or the unique ‘four-door’ layout (one door on the driver side, two doors on the passenger side) of the 2020 concept, the production Sierra EV will feature a conventional five-door layout.
What is the Sigma platform?
While Tata’s current EVs – the Nexon and Tigor – are based on the same platforms as their petrol and diesel-powered counterparts, albeit modified to accommodate batteries and motors instead, the Sierra will sit on a dedicated EV platform. Based on the X4 or ALFA platform of the Altroz and Punch, the new Sigma platform has been heavily re-engineered around the battery pack to avoid any compromises and to optimise packaging.
These modifications will include the deletion of the transmission tunnel, modifications to what would have been the fuel tank area, and the side members pushed to the sides to free up space. These changes are also likely to make the Sigma platform lighter, more energy efficient and more spacious than ICE platform-based EVs. As a result of these changes, the platform, of course, will not be able to support combustion engines and their ancillary components, but then those are well catered to by Tata’s ALFA and OMEGA platforms.
New Tata Sierra won’t launch before 2025
While development of the Sierra might already be underway, the all-electric SUV is still a while away from a market debut, which likely won’t happen before 2025. As mentioned earlier, there are at least six models planned, but those that come before the Sierra will be based on existing ICE platforms or will be upgraded versions of existing models. You can expect more models beyond the Sierra on the Sigma platform, as well as larger models that would sit alongside the Harrier and Safari. For more information, pick up the January 2022 issue of Autocar India magazine.
For more on Tata Motors' upcoming EV plans, pick up the January 2022 issue of Autocar India Magazine which is on stands now. Click here to buy your copy.
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