Filling the void
This new crossover is an SUV, MPV and car in one, and rides smooth as a saloon. Is this the beginning of a new segment?autos Updated: Mar 25, 2010 00:51 IST
The Aria isn’t just another new run-of-the-mill Tata model. This crossover is the first product in 22 years to be built on a brand new ladder-frame chassis, which will underpin future generations of Safaris, Sumos and pick-ups. This new platform has been conceived both for India and global markets like Europe.
Engine and ride
The 2.2-litre Dicor engine develops an identical 140 bhp but has been refined with rubber mounts, an aluminium cast sump, an improved acoustic package and a dual mass flywheel.
The Aria comes with both 4x2 and 4x4 options. It uses a full-time four-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive (AWD) system developed by Borg Warner.
Tata has used a Controller-Area-Network (CAN) which links all the electronic systems together.Initial work on the Aria’s styling was done by I.DE.A of Italy and completed by Tata Motors’ in-house design team.
Looking at the Aria, you can see that it’s a cross between an SUV, MPV and a car. The front end has an Indica-like grille, sophisticated lamps and central bonnet crease common on the new Tata cars. The Aria’s cabin has a feel-good ambience we’ve never experienced in a Tata.The massive load-carrying capacity gives it added versatility.
Price: Rs 12-14 lakh (estimated)
Length: 4,780 mm
Width: 1,895 mm
Height: 1,780 mm
Wheelbase: 2,850 mm
Ground clearance: 200 mm
Engine: Four cyls-in-line 2179 cc, common-rail, turbo-diesel
Power: 140 bhp at 4,000 rpm
Gearbox: 5-speed manual
FR: Ventilated discs
Tyre size: 235/ 65 R17
The Aria is expected to go on sale by mid-2010 and retail for approximately Rs 12-14 lakh. It is positioned in the huge void that exists in the segment above the Innova, and Tata hopes to gain a first-mover advantage. Without testing the Aria it is hard to draw any conclusions, but what’s clear is that the Aria is the most sophisticated product Tata has ever produced and marks a new era of people-carriers.