Tata Motors is planning to add a turbo-petrol engine option to Harrier and Safari, and a new spy picture of the latter is doing rounds on the internet
Tata Motors is currently developing a new petrol engine, which will make its way into a few of the brand’s SUVs very soon, like Harrier, Safari, and perhaps even its upcoming midsize SUV. Recently, a new spy picture of a test mule of Safari petrol has surfaced online, hinting at its imminent launch.
The test model had emissions testing equipment strapped on to its back, thus confirming that a new engine is being tested. This powerplant is expected to be a 1.5-litre, turbocharged, inline-4 petrol motor. We speculate that it will be available with two transmission options – a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox – the same as the diesel version of Harrier and Safari.
Tata Safari and Harrier are currently available with a 2.0-litre, turbocharged, inline-4 engine. This powerplant is capable of generating a peak power of 170 PS and a maximum torque of 350 Nm. The transmission choices are listed above. Both SUVs are only available in a front-wheel-drive configuration, and we expect the same on their upcoming petrol versions as well.
The addition of a petrol version would help the Safari and Harrier become significantly more affordable, which will help boost sales. While a lot of people still prefer diesel power for SUVs, the popularity of petrol cars has increased in recent years, and even more so since the BS6 emission norms came into effect.
The rivals of both these SUVs, like Mahindra XUV700, MG Hector and Hector Plus, etc., are available with both petrol and diesel engine options. Tata Motors hasn’t given any launch window yet for the petrol versions of the Harrier and Safari, but we expect them to debut before the end of this year.
As for Tata’s upcoming midsize SUV, being referred to as ‘Blackbird’ by the media, we expect it to arrive by 2023. It will also get the brand’s new 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine, but likely in a lower state of tune than Harrier and Safari. Other than that, it will get diesel and electric powertrain choices as well, with the latter expected to arrive before others.