Tata appears to be looking at plans to introduce four-wheel drive configuration in the electrified versions of its SUVs moving forward
Tata Motors is currently delving deep to introduce four-wheel drive configuration in the electrified versions of its SUVs moving forward. This has been confirmed in an interview by Tata Motors Managing Director, Passenger Vehicle and Electric Vehicles, Shailesh Chandra. He said, “Our focus will be to try and do that in the electric vehicles. We are going to work on this in the electric version of our future SUVs,”
Despite the return of the Safari nameplate on the flagship SUV in February 2021, it is basically a seven-seater version of the regular Harrier and is not offered with a 4WD layout. The homegrown manufacturer does not have a 4WD model on sale with the likes of Nexon, Punch, Harrier and Safari but the scenario will more likely change in the near future.
It is no secret that Tata is looking to widen its zero-emission range with huge investments over the next three years as new EVs are under development. As many as ten new products, with some being dedicated pure EVs, are planned. Earlier this year, Tata also showcased the Curvv and Avinya concepts and they are expected to spawn production EVs in the coming years.
Tata is evaluating the possibilities of introducing four-wheel drive systems on models above the Nexon compact SUV’s range and thus the Harrier and Safari could get the technology with improved off-roading capabilities. But there is a catch. In the midsize SUV segment, Maruti Suzuki and Toyota recently introduced the 4WD systems of their Grand Vitara and Urban Cruiser Hyryder respectively.
In addition, one of Tata’s main rivals, Mahindra & Mahindra, sells the Scorpio N and XUV700 in an almost similar price range with 4WD configuration. In reply to whether the Harrier and Safari would get the 4×4 versions, Chandra said, “..if Harrier and Safari sales start going towards electric… then we can have four by four coming there.”
In large SUVs with dual electric motor setup, Tata might find it inevitable. However, we will have to wait and see what really happens. Tata is also working to expand its CNG range in India. Only a few days ago, the company introduced the Tiago EV, the most affordable electric hatchback, with a claimed range of up to 315 km.