Tata Motor’s much-appreciated Harrier SUV is available with a single diesel powertrain, but that is going to change soon. The brand could be planning to introduce a petrol variant of the Harrier SUV which is expected to come with a smaller displacement 1.5-litre engine option. According to reports, the brand is conducting road-test runs of the new powertrain that is expected to be launched soon.
Sources have spotted the test mule of the Harrier close to the ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India) near Pune Maharashtra leading us to believe that the new petrol powertrain could be in its final stages of validation. The source has also mentioned that the test equipment is similar to the emission testing equipment that the ARAI uses and it is possible that the vehicle is being homologated for its market launch.
The engine in question is likely to be a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged direct injection motor that is expected to churn out nearly 150 Hp of power. The petrol engine is also likely to come with a mild-hybrid system in the near future. With the mild-hybrid feature, it will be able to better compete with the MG Hector which is powered by a mild-hybrid petrol motor.
Except for the Harrier, all its competitors, come with petrol powertrain option. The Jeep Compass and the upcoming XUV500 is also expected to come with a direct-injection turbo-petrol motor. Also, the petrol SUV chunk in the Indian market is quite significant and cannot be ignored. Within the Tata SUV portfolio, the Nexon compact SUV registers 65-70% sales from the petrol powertrain option. Even MG in the past revealed that nearly 50% of their Hector’s sold are petrol model.
The petrol engine option is also likely to be much more affordable than the more expensive diesel technology, especially after the BS6 conformities. This price point is also expected to attract a wider customer base and avoid losing a considerable chunk of buyer’s looking for petrol SUVs. The brand is also likely to use the same engine on the Tata Gravitas – the 6/7 seater version of the Harrier which will compete with the MG Hector Plus.