Tata H7X seven-seat SUV will likely compete against Toyota Fortuner and Honda CR-V as the flagship model within the brand’s lineup
Tata Motors is all set to launch the Harrier SUV in the Indian market in early 2019 and ahead of which it will make debut in front of the media in December. The homegrown automaker teased the Harrier for several weeks before unveiling the first production model rolled out of the Pune plant a few days ago.
The five-seater premium SUV will take on Hyundai Creta and with expected on-road price between Rs. 16 lakh and Rs. 21 lakh, it will also rival Jeep Compass. The Mumbai-headquartered brand is wary of the stakes with Harrier and is planning to introduce a seven-seater variant likely within a year after the five-seat version’s launch.
It has now been caught testing near Bengaluru and its proportions give a clear idea of where it will be positioned. We expect it to compete against Honda CR-V, Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour and upcoming Mahindra Alturas and be pitched as the flagship product within Tata’s local fleet.
Tata could debut the seven-seater premium SUV with a different nomenclature. It will likely be more premium than the Hexa crossover and may well share plenty of design cues with the Harrier. Will the seven-seat SUV be called Sierra to induce more enthusiasm into the customers’ minds? We do not know that yet but it will be based on the same OMEGA (Optimal Modular Efficient Global Advanced) architecture as the Harrier.
Derived from Land Rover’s D8, the OMEGA platform is quintessential for the high off-road characteristics the segment beckons. The test mule does showcase the changes made from the D-pillar as the rear end has been extended to accommodate two more occupants. At the rear, it features high mounted stop lamp, roof integrated spoiler and shark fin antenna while the tail lamp does not seem to be in its production stage yet – suggesting that developmental works are still underway.
It appears to have same round-shaped wheel arches as the Harrier and did not wear any fancy alloy wheels. It will derive power from a 2.0-litre four-cylinder Kryotec diesel engine which should be good enough to produce as much as 170 horsepower and 350 Nm as in the Jeep Compass. It may get six-speed manual or an optional nine-speed auto or a six-speed Hyundai-sourced AT as in Harrier.