So the cat’s finally out of the bag. And it looks nearly just like what we saw at the Auto Expo. The Tata Harrier has finally shown itself and are we surprised? Not really, because Tata Motors have now built a reputation for blurring the lines between their concepts and production vehicles. But are we excited? Oh yes!
If you ask, why? You probably know, but just to remind you, the Harrier is the first Tata vehicle which has picked its goodies directly from the car maker’s shopping bag (Read: Land Rover). And then, there have been those testing videos which gave us a glimpse of the SUV’s capabilities. We’ll sample its brilliance whenever we get to drive it. For now, just look at it! And since its reveal, it is now an uncontested fact that the Tata Harrier is a striking looking thing with a design, which is befitting for a flagship. In pictures, it looks more Urbane than butch. However, by the looks of it, for an SUV, it does seem to have size working in its favour to cut an imposing picture.
Take a look at the Harrier’s LED eyebrows for example. They appear like a big cat’s eyes which are focusing on a prey. Then there’s that grille with its amplified honey comb pattern and a unique, twin headlight setup which has been integrated into the bumper in a triangular housing, along with the fog lamps. For those who have been drawing parallels between the Harrier and the Nexon’s design. Stop. The latter has a friendly, more welcoming face. While the Harrier looks mean and aggressive, with a face that resembles one of a big, hungry cat.
Moving to the sides, those massively flared wheel arches look the part. However, even with tall profile and fat rubber, there remains quite a big gap between the body work and them tyres. But remember, this also has to off-road and there must be space for wheel travel. The 5-spoke alloy wheel design looks quite vanilla. Although, we all know how deceiving things can appear in pictures. We hope the design surprises in real life. In a good way.
There’s a crisply ironed crease that runs just below the glass area. Then, there’s that window line which starts climbing right from the A-pillar, and then, between pillars C & D, it spikes up even more to create this ‘pinched’ effect, or more like a funnel shape, working with the chrome or maybe aluminium finished insert along the window outline. We would’ve liked if that insert was blacked out too. It stands out in isolation as a piece of shine, when everything otherwise is blacked out. But then again, it might just look the part in flesh.
Moving to the rear, what grabs attention in a whisker are those smoked tail-lamps, where again, the turn indicator looks like a croc’s eye, underlined in red. Those illuminating bits have been placed inside a blacked out insert which tapers towards the end. And is that an Audi-esque, continously running, illuminated strip which sits inside it? Is it TAMO? Is it? 🙂
Rear fog lamps sit high and there’s an aluminium finished insert in the black cladding which curves upwards to add some style to grey. However, we would’ve liked that chrome tipped exhaust to be routed through to come out of that faux outlet at the bottom. But overall, if we consider all homegrown and international offerings in this segment, not only is this the most head turning SUV design until now, it certainly is the most striking, the most imposing. In terms of design, we don’t think Tata Motors could’ve revisited their SUV roots with an effort that could’ve been any better. Applause!
Built on a completely new assembly line, the Tata Harrier is based on the Omega architecture, which used to underpin the Discovery Sport. Pushing this smart piece of metal, rubber and everything else is a 2.0-litre Kryotec (Fiat-derived Multijet) engine which will crank out 140 HP and 300 Nm of twist. Paired with a 6-speed manual and an optional, Hyundai sourced 6-speed auto box, its delivery characteristics will be tuned to be in sync with selectable driving modes.
On the inside, expect this new-gen Tata to come fitted with most modern bells & whistles along with a modern, well-appointed cabin. A 7-seater version is also said to be in the works and could arrive sometime next year. You can book one for yourself now, where deliveries will begin after January 2019. Is there anything to dislike then? Until now, No. And we have a feeling that the answer will remain the same, even after we’ve sampled the car.