There has been news and spy-shots going around of the new Tata Q501/H5 (apparently codenames) SUV due release sometime soon. And it has come to light that the car will be a platform sibling of the Land Rover Discovery Sport both of which are based on the L550 platform.
So why do manufacturers go for platform development?
The ultimate goal, to reduce design and development costs. A platform development approach helps companies develop the base of a car series and then make modification as required to the kind of cars they spin off the platform.
It seems like Tata SUV would have steel parts in some areas where the Land Rover Discovery Sport had aluminium. This too is to reduce costs as the markets where these cars primarily sell. India being a price sensitive market, steel parts make for a better alternative due to the high cost of aluminium in comparison to steel.
The exterior styling is based on Tata’s new design language called ‘Impact Design 2.0’. Spy images suggest that the front end gets a new mesh grille with the Tata logo in the centre, while a set of arrow shaped lights extend from the grille. The bumper appears to house an additional set of lights that include fog lamps and the test mule has auxiliary lights mounted on the front.
The H5 test mule has flared wheel arches filled with 19-inch, 5-spoke alloy wheels finished in black and large ORVMs with integrated turn signals. It has a steeply raked windshield while the roofline gently slopes towards the rear. Also, the A, B and C-pillars appear to have been blacked-out. On the inside, the H5 is likely to get a 3-spoke steering wheel and a floating touchscreen infotainment system. A rotary drive mode selector can also be seen in one of the spy images and the gear knob appears to have chrome trim.
According to media reports, the new SUV will be offered with Fiat’s 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder Multijet diesel engine. The 5-seater (H5) is believed to get a 140 BHP unit while the larger 7-seat version could get a 180 BHP state of tune. A 6-speed manual is likely to be offered as standard, but it has been reported that the H5 might also get a ZF 9-speed automatic option. The SUV is expected to use Tata’s own 4WD system. The Q501 / H5 will have an all-independent suspension setup similar to the Discovery Sport.