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The seven-seat Tata Harrier is already one of the most-awaited SUVs in the Indian market. Several people are waiting for the Buzzard to be launched in India. Well, the Buzzard just became more important as a product, both for Tata and for the Indian market as it would be replacing the Tata Hexa.
The seven-seater Tata Harrier or Buzzard first broke cover at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show earlier this year. Though it looked just like the Harrier from the outside, it was said to have premium positioning in Tata's product line-up. Now we know just why it needed to have the premium positioning.
According to a report by Autocar, the Buzzard will replace the Hexa in Tata's portfolio. The Tata Hexa is currently the most expensive passenger vehicle sold by Tata Motors. It was first revealed at the 2016 Indian Auto Expo as a replacement for the Tata Aria. The SUV was then launched in January 2017.
It didn't really sell very well, but it gave Tata a footing in the premium SUV segment. It is powered by a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine with a maximum power output of 153.8bhp and a peak torque output of 400Nm. Production of the Tata Hexa will be stopped soon, as Tata has chosen not to upgrade the 2.2-litre engine to the upcoming BS-VI emissions norms.
The stricter BS-VI emissions norms are set to kick-in from the 1st April, 2020 and several manufacturers are axing a few of their models instead of upgrading them. The Tata Hexa is one of those models that have been left out of the BS-VI era, simply because its manufacturer does not see the returns coming in for the investment made to upgrade it.
Converting the Tata Hexa to BS-VI is going to cost a lot and the model barely sells, hence the easier choice was to leave it out. Tata anyway has the seven-seater Harrier-based SUV coming in. It is said to be premium and therefore could be a good replacement for the Hexa. However, it is not the end of the road for the 2.2-litre engine in the Tata Hexa.
The engine would be pushed for usage in some of Tata's many commercial vehicle offerings. Tata would adapt the engine for commercial vehicle usage in the BS-VI era and that is possible thanks to BS-VI emission norms being a little easier on commercial vehicles than on passenger vehicles.
Rajendra Petkar, Chief Technology Officer for Tata Motors was quoted as saying, "Tata Motors believes the 2.0-litre diesel engine in its portfolio will serve well for the larger models in its passenger vehicle (PV) portfolio. For PVs, we currently have the 2.0-litre engine, which is an advanced engine and also well-established in the market. So, we'd like to continue to use that in even the BS-VI era."
The new seven-seater SUV too would be based on Land Rover's D8 platform just like the Harrier currently on sale in India. However, it will come with a more powerful, BS-VI compliant engine with outputs in excess of 170bhp and 350Nm. It will come with top-shelf interiors and features that make for a brilliant SUV.
Thoughts On Seven-Seat Tata Harrier To Replace Tata Hexa Thanks To BS-VI Norms
The Tata Harrier is a brilliant SUV and is doing pretty well on the sales charts too. A seven-seater variant is an idea that would be very welcome in the Indian market, especially for those buying it for family usage. It further helps knowing that the seven-seat Harrier will be more premium as it has to replace the Hexa.