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At the Geneva Motor Show this year, Tata set the stage on fire and managed to grab all eyeballs by showcasing the 7-seater version of its Harrier SUV. Called Buzzard in Geneva, news reports claimed that the automaker will name this SUV Cassini in India. The company plans to roll out the car by the end of 2019 or early 2020. Now reports have surfaced that this vehicle will take the mantle of flagship Tata car from Hexa. It has also been suggested that Hexa will be discontinued by the company after the launch of Cassini.
This was always on the cards given that the government is planning to enforce stringent emission norms in the country from 1 April 2020. After this, all the passenger cars sold in India will have to be BS-VI compliant in order to be allowed for sale. Hexa, at present, comes with a 2.2-litre diesel engine which will be upgraded to meet the emission norms but the car will no longer be sold in the market.
Wondering why Tata is discontinuing a model when it is upgrading the engine?
Tata will use the upgraded the 2.2-litre diesel engine for commercial purposes and the passenger vehicle-version of the engine will no longer be continued.
Talking about the BS-VI norms, the emission limits here are more stringent for passenger vehicle compared to some classes of commercial vehicles. For instance, the NOx limit for a commercial vehicle in the N1 category (1,305-1,760kg) is 0.105g/km (BS4 – 0.33 g/km) and for the above 1,760kg category, the emission limit is 0.125g/km (BS4 – 0.39 g/km). If we consider the passenger vehicle category, they are bound by the NOx limit of 0.08g/km (BS4 – 0.25 g/km). This means engine upgrade costs for commercial vehicles will be far less compared to passenger vehicles.
As for the engine in Cassini, we believe that the 2.0-litre KRYOTEC diesel engine powering the Harrier will continue to be seen in the larger upcoming models of Tata. However, this engine will be re-tuned for generating more power and torque. On Harrier, this engine generates 138 Bhp peak power and 350 Nm torque. The power figure is expected to climb to 170 Bhp in 7-seater Cassini.
Other mechanicals in Cassini include a Hyundai-sourced 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox apart from the 6-speed manual box found on the Harrier. This very transmission will be introduced on the Harrier as well as the absence of automatic box is hurting the SUV’s sales prospects especially to competitors such as MG Hector and Kia Seltos.