A new Tata 4x4 ‘crossover’ is heading for production in late 2007 and will be engineered for sale in Europe. Shown as the Xover concept, the 4.8m-long seven-seater is built on a new ladder-frame chassis that will also underpin a 4x4 to replace the Safari. It will have independent suspension all round, with double wishbones and coil springs at the front and a five-link axle with coils at the rear.
Indian car maker Tata will engineer the Idea-styled vehicle itself and homologate it to European crash standards. ‘There’s lots of detail work still to do,’ said project manager Vikram Kulkarni. The target weight is between 1750 and 1800kg, around 250kg lighter than today’s Safari.
The engine is a new 140bhp, 2.2-litre direct-injection diesel, due to be engineered to Euro4 emissions standards.
The Xover should be rugged, with four-wheel drive and a low-range transfer ’box. Traction control, anti-lock brakes and four airbags are also on the spec list.
Tata expects to make the Xover available to its UK distributor MG Rover for sale in the UK. ‘It’s too early to say whether we’ll take it yet,’ said an MG Rover spokesman. ‘The major priority at the moment is our deal in China.’ Contractual obligations with ex-owner BMW mean any 4x4 would have to be badged as an MG.