Tata’s must expensive and luxurious model ever, the Aria, has gone in sale in India. The all-wheel drive crossover is one of the most sophisticated cars to come out India yet, incorporating features such as in-dash GPS, ESP, traction control, a leather interior and six airbags.
Tata says the seven-seat Aria blends the abilities of a saloon and a SUV. Power comes from a 2.2-litre direct-injection common-rail diesel engine that produces 137bhp and 236lb ft driving through a five-speed manual gearbox.
At 4780mm long, the Aria is a similar size to a Kia Sorento. It 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.
Other features include a reversing camera, automatic climate control, steering wheel-mounted controls and rain sensing wipers.
Tata revealed at the Aria’s European launch at the Geneva motor show earlier this year that the car would be destined for European showrooms, including the UK, from spring 2011.
However, the Aria’s European launch will occur next year in the three existing markets it sells in: Spain, Italy and Poland. “There’s no word yet on a UK launch,” said a Tata source, “but it may come to the UK in due course.”
Tata Motors boss Carl-Peter Forster has been undertaking a review of Tata’s European plans since he was appointed in January. A 2012 launch in the UK for Tata now seems the most likely, including its Nano Europa and Vista EV models, both of which are still under development.