The testing for Tata Motors’ future flagship, codenamed Tata Q501, has begun. When launched, it will slot above the recently launched Hexa crossover and rival the Tucson.
It will be the first-ever Tata to share components with Land Rover. The basic platform, some suspension components and many underlying structural elements will be common with the Discovery Sport.
The Land Rover association is also clear visually. In photos, it could be mistaken for the Land Rover Discovery Sport but for certain key differences. It sports a single exhaust pipe and is shod with Tata alloy wheels which are used on variants of the Safari Storme and Hexa. The test mule spotted could be undergoing development work in relation to a new engine or affordable suspension aggregates.
The final version of the flagship SUV will not resemble the Discovery Sport and will have styling that’s unique to Tata. Its interior will follow their new ‘Impact Design’ style language. Powering it will be Fiat’s new 172hp 2.0-litre MultiJet engine. The same engine will also be seen in the upcoming Jeep Compass SUV. It will be locally assembled in order to make it cost-effective.
Once launched in 2018, the Tata Q501 SUV will rival the Hyundai Tucson, Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour and the future Mahindra flagship SUV which will slot above the currently popular XUV500.