The Indian owners of Jaguar Land Rover are planning to build an SUV based on the same basic platform as the new Discovery Sport, according to reports from Autocar India.
Tata’s automotive arm has started work on the new model, which is said to be codenamed Q501. However, because the new model has to compete with SUVs such as the Mahindra XUV500 and more upmarket Toyota Fortuner, which would price the new Tata in the £13,000 to £24,000 range, it will share little with its Land Rover sibling.
While the basic Discovery Sport platform will deliver high levels of safety, the rest of the new Tata will be unique, including the styling and entire interior design. The suspension set-up is likely to be newly engineered as a more basic but still highly robust spring and damper system.
Autocar India reports that Tata might even use a Fiat Multijet Euro 5 diesel engine in the new model. But, indicating the extreme cost sensitivity of the project, Tata planners are said to be concerned that the engine will be too costly if it has to be imported ahead of local production in India. Fiat and Tata have a joint venture at Ranjangoan in India, where the Multijet engine will eventually be made.
Tata is understood to face significant hurdles in meeting the project's planned budget, but it is hoping that the new model will sell well enough for the factory unit price to be further lowered. There’s no indication of the launch date, but the new SUV is unlikely to arrive before late 2017. The vehicle is also unlikely to be sold in western Europe.