Tata Motors is actively looking to introduce four-wheel drive technology in electric versions of its sport utility vehicles in the future, according to the company’s head of passenger vehicle business Shailesh Chandra.
The local car company does not currently offer four-wheel drive models in any of its existing product ranges, which includes the Nexon, Harrier and Safari.
The company aims to have a portfolio of ten electrical products, a mix of existing nameplates and all new models, by 2025.
Tata Motors is considering models above the Nexon range as potential candidates for the four-by-four (4X4) upgrade.
“Our focus will be trying to do that in electric vehicles. We’re going to work on this in the electric version of our future SUVs,” Shailesh Chandra, managing director of Tata Motors – Passenger Cars and Electric Vehicles, told PTI when told. He asked if the company is also considering four-wheel drive versions in its SUV range.
Some of the products in the company’s expected lineup of ten electric models will feature four-by-four capability, he added.
The four-wheel drive mechanism allows power to flow to all four wheels of a vehicle, allowing it to overcome harsh off-road conditions.
Rival Mahindra & Mahindra already offers such a transmission on various models such as XUV 700, Scorpio-N, Thar and Alturas G4.
Even Maruti Suzuki has introduced an all-wheel drive (AWD) version in the recently launched mid-size SUV – Grand Vitara.
Asked if the Harrier and Safari, which currently come only with a diesel powertrain, could be considered for a 4X4 upgrade, Chandra said it was difficult to justify the investment as sales of these models remained very low in the domestic market.
He further said, “Let’s transition to the new (electric) world first and then we’ll start offering that option there…if Harrier and Safari sales start going towards electric…then we can have four-by-fours getting there” . “
On the future of diesel cars, Chandra said that the fuel will remain relevant for some time in the mid-size and high-end SUV segments.
“This is where the diesel game would be prominent. Beyond a certain emissions standard, it would be difficult for diesel to really be considered viable. So in the next ten years it is expected to hit a very low level.” Chandra said. .
He said that the company is looking to expand its CNG range in all relevant segments.
The Mumbai-based company currently has just two CNG models in its passenger vehicle product range.
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