Tata Motors is developing a new petrol powertrain which would be utilised in its premium sports utility vehicles -- Harrier and Safari, according to a top company official. The models currently come with a 2-litre diesel engine.
In an interaction with PTI, Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles Managing Director Shailesh Chandra said the engine is being developed and will be featured in the two models going ahead.
He noted that the company focused only on diesel powertrain as 80 per cent of the around 2 lakh unit per annum market in the segment, where Harrier and Safari operate, was skewed towards diesel.
"Our initial focus was on diesel for a simple reason that 80 per cent of the 2 lakh market for this SUV segment is basically diesel which means customers prefer diesel because of its better torque performance," Chandra said.
This is why the auto major always kept the focus of this segment towards diesel, he added.
"But we knew that going forward petrol is also going to give aggressive price points (for the models) and also why one should leave 20 per cent of the market, so we are working on a 1.5 litre GDI engine," Chandra said.
This is work in progress as it requires proper development and besides the product has to get integrated with the engine, he stated.
"Also we have been working on building the capacities. It is (petrol engine) slightly far away but it's going to come," Chandra said.
Last week, Tata Motors rolled out new versions of Harrier and Safari with price starting at Rs 15.49 lakh and Rs 16.19 lakh, respectively.
The updated versions of both Harrier and Safari have received top safety ratings from the vehicle safety group Global NCAP.