5 April 2004

A new Rover-badged SUV could be on its way to the UK as part of a tie-in with fledgling Indian car manufacturer, Sonalika.

The New Delhi-based firm has struck a deal to supply parts to Powertrain Ltd – a subsidiary of Phoenix Venture Holdings – for a new 2.0-litre Euro4 common-rail turbodiesel engine.

It’s being developed at Longbridge for launch in late 2005 and will slot into the forthcoming mid-sized car previewed in the TCV concept (above).

The Indian firm will also build a new Powertrain-designed six-speed manual ’box. This will appear at the same time as the new engine and is destined to become a common feature in diesel-powered and high-performance variants of MG Rover products from 2006.

Sonalika, which already makes tractors in a joint venture with Renault, is also putting the finishing touches on a seven-seat SUV/MPV crossover for the Indian market. It, too, could be sold in the UK.

The existing Indian deal with Tata to sell Indica superminis as CityRovers is unaffected.

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