Indian firm's flagship SUV launched at the Geneva motor show
2 March 2010

Tata has given its new flagship model, the Aria, its European debut at the Geneva motor show. Conceived as a global model, it’s been developed to appeal to European and British buyers and is expected to go on sale here in spring 2011.

Crucially, the Aria has been designed to meet European crash legislation — the company is aiming for a four-star EuroNCAP rating — and is said to be the most sophisticated Tata to date.

See the official Tata Aria pics

However, the car uses a body-on-frame construction rather than a more modern monocoque shell, in order to give the vehicle the robustness necessary for dealing with rural Indian roads. At 4780mm long, the Aria is a similar size to a Kia Sorento.

One engine is available: a 140bhp, 2.2-litre, four-cylinder diesel coupled to a full-time four-wheel drive system. No official performance figures have been released, although it’s likely that for Europe, more power will be expected to improve the car’s performance.

Tata is considering a 170bhp version, although this would require a new gearbox because the Aria’s five-speed manual cannot deal with that much power. There are no plans for a petrol engine.

Inside, the Aria has a third row of seats and an LCD screen infotainment system, the first time such technology has appeared in any Tata.

Tata has launched an SUV in the UK before; the Safari was available here during the Noughties, but it was never a great success. In Europe Tata currently sells cars in Italy, Poland, Spain and Turkey.

Hormazd Sorabjee/Dan Stevens

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Comments
13

24 February 2010

Hahahahahahaha!!! They've already got all the off-roader they need in the Discovery and the Rangey. This is just a bloody joke. 140bhp from a 2.2 litre diesel in something that big and heavy? Why not just use the Jag V6? And the styling looks like a bad ripoff of the SsangYong/Daewoo Musso (a car I always kind of liked, but could never fathom why). This is just hideous, awful, etc.

24 February 2010

Hmmm its not the worst looking car in the world... in a dark colour it could look kind of OK, its success will depend on the pricing, I think at £15k it could be a suprise hit as a full-size 7 seater, esp as C-Maxes/Zafiras etc are getting more expensive, but at £20k it will not sell at all.

We shall see. Certainly not a car to dismiss immediately (IMO)

currently a happy owner of a Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin :)

24 February 2010

Those pics appear to show a test mule. When will the finished car be available?

Where has all Japanese design went to?

24 February 2010

[quote Autocar]Conceived as a global model, it’s been developed to appeal to European and British buyers and is expected to go on sale here in spring 2011[/quote]

Assuming it's a decent enough vehicle and is priced right, this could give Tata an interesting opportunity here.

I'm guessing that Land Rover dealers will be given the option to sell the Tata Aria, which would be a cheaper option than setting up a separate Tata dealer network from scratch. This would finally give those LR dealers a £15k(ish) vehicle to help boost their sales. And all this without diluting the Land Rover name or image, as the Aria would remain Tata badged.

It would also get the Aria off to a reasonable start, as association with LR dealerships would give it some sort of appeal among buyers wary of buying a Tata. Its closest competitors would be the SsangYong Kyron and Rexton, which seem similar to the Aria in concept but which sell in tiny numbers here. The fact that the Aria would be sold by LR would surely give it a big advantage over SsangYong?

I can see the logic. We just need to hope this is a drastically better vehicle than the Safari that went before...

On the other hand, I could be completely wrong about all of the above - in which case, ignore me! :-)

24 February 2010

I believe that the Tata Aria has been developed by Lotus.

http://twitpic.com/12dc9j

I took this pic at Hethel (legally from the public road) 2 weeks ago and posted it on Twitter, asking if anyone knew what it was. Well, now we know.

www.twitter.com/racingpuma

24 February 2010

It won't be a great succeses neither this one.

Only one thing, Turkey isn't a European country.

24 February 2010

[quote Paul123]I'm guessing that Land Rover dealers will be given the option to sell the Tata Aria, which would be a cheaper option than setting up a separate Tata dealer network from scratch. This would finally give those LR dealers a £15k(ish) vehicle to help boost their sales.[/quote]

How to destroy the reputation and class of JLR dealers would be to inflict this hunk of junk on them.

A seperate chassis will mean it has poor space packaging, and 4 star N Cap means it will be lagging in class safety, and who knows about the build quality which has never been Tata strong point. Styling is subjective and it's not that bad, but for a little more you could put a very decent Kia on your drive and not have to explain to everyone what a Tata is and how its the very poor relation to a Land Rover, and that you bought a very inferior car just so that you could experience JLR customer service.

24 February 2010

[quote MattDB]

How to destroy the reputation and class of JLR dealers would be to inflict this hunk of junk on them.

A seperate chassis will mean it has poor space packaging, and 4 star N Cap means it will be lagging in class safety, and who knows about the build quality which has never been Tata strong point. Styling is subjective and it's not that bad, but for a little more you could put a very decent Kia on your drive and not have to explain to everyone what a Tata is and how its the very poor relation to a Land Rover, and that you bought a very inferior car just so that you could experience JLR customer service.

[/quote]

We don't actually know yet that it's a 'hunk of junk', do we? Personally, I'd like to give it the benefit of the doubt. And if, after it's been tried on UK roads, it turns out to be 'junk', that's fine - but until then, how do we know?

A separate chassis'd 4x4 still has a role to play. Otherwise, who would buy a Defender?Or a Nissan Pathfinder? I'm not comparing the Aria with either of those, but they both prove that there is a niche market for a hard-working, no-nonsense 4x4 that isn't just for the school run. And no sub-£20k Kia 4x4 (or any Kia 4x4, come to think of it) can claim to offer that. We'll just have to wait and see how good the Aria is...

24 February 2010

"Tata is considering a 170bhp version, although this would require a new gearbox because the Aria’s five-speed manual cannot deal with that much power."

You have to wonder how long the gearbox is going to last with 140bhp. If it can't take another 30bhp (and probably +50-70lb ft) it can't be up to much cop in the first place. Good luck to any owners who decide to chip it.

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