Tata Q501 Spied Ahead Of Auto Expo 2018 Debut

  • Feb 1, 2018
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The Q501 shares its platform with the Land Rover Discovery Sport and could be launched with 5- and 7-seat options

Tata Motors is gearing up to showcase its latest design language, the Impact 2.0, along with three new vehicles at the Auto Expo 2018. One of them is supposed to be an all-new SUV codenamed the Q501 or the H5. The SUV has been caught testing wearing the Land Rover Discovery Sport skin quite a few times. Now, however, a few images showing a camouflaged mid-size SUV have surfaced online. From the looks of it, it clearly seems to be from the Tata stable.

The images show a hint of red under the heavy camouflage. If the Nexon compact SUV is anything to by, expect the H5 to be offered in some very vibrant shades as well. The looks are very much in line with what Pratap Bose, the head of design at Tata Motors, described the Impact 2.0 design language in an exclusive chat with us. There’s a very prominent ‘Humanity Line’, the line that connects the headlamps and the grille, just beneath the covering on the front grille. The strong shoulder line echoes the Impact design language as well. The upcoming SUV still looks quite akin to the Land Rover though with good reason. One of the biggest trump cars of the Q501 is the L550 platform that Tata Motors has borrowed from Land Rover. It is the same platform that underpins the Discovery Sport and gives the Tata a solid, robust and versatile platform to work on.

The upcoming SUV has already set its sights on dethroning the current segment leader, the Hyundai Creta. The Q501 seems to be longer and wider than the Creta, which measures 4270mm in length. Furthermore, the 2741mm wheelbase of the L550 platform is unlikely to be altered and should allow Tata to offer the option of 5- and 7-seat configurations as well.

Tata has had a long history of sourcing its diesel engines from Fiat and if reports are to be believed, the H5 will be powered by the same 2.0-litre Multijet diesel that also powers the Jeep Compass. Expect the engine to be in a similar state of tune if not higher. The max power could be around 140-170PS and as with all Fiat engines, it should have a healthy mid-range grunt. The engine is like to be paired with a manual transmission though an automatic offering cannot be ruled out. Also, it is clear from the image of the cabin that the H5 will come with a rotary dial to shift between 4WD and 2WD modes and between high and low ratios for off-roading.

As for the cabin, the H5 looks like it will skip the floating infotainment screen seen on the Nexon and will instead go for a system housed in the dashboard. Plus, expect creature comforts like climate control and cruise control to make an appearance as well. Quality of the fit and finish shouldn’t be a concern either as Pratap Bose pointed out that Tata Motors is working on improving the overall standard of their products.

The biggest challenge that Tata would face would be the pricing. The L550 platform itself could drive the costs up, but Tata will most likely use less exotic materials like steel instead of aluminium at the cost of increased weight to keep costs in check. The use of high quality materials in the cabin and the 2.0-litre Fiat-sourced engine don’t come cheap either. Tata will be attempting to launch the H5 at a price that rivals the Creta with higher variants possibly competing against the Jeep Compass. Whatever the case, Tata is attempting a major disruption in the Indian automotive market and we will know what it looks like in the flesh in just a few days!

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