Tata Motors has announced that the H5X concept, that first broke cover at the Auto Expo 2018, will officially be called the Harrier. The H5X which is being developed around Tata’s new Omega platform, which is a derivative of the platform used on the Land Rover Discovery, and will be manufactured from a new line at Tata’s Chakan plant in Pune. The SUV is expected to be launched in India in the first half of 2019. This will be the first in a line of almost 10-12 vehicles that Tata Motors will manufacture around Tata’s two new vehicle architectures that have been named the Alfa and Omega. The first in the line of the Alfa architecture vehicles will be the Tata 45X that also made its first appearance to the public at the 2018 Auto Expo, although this hatchback is still some time away from being absolutely production ready.
We already know that the H5X concept is nearing production since it was most recently spotted doing high-altitude testing in the Himalayas. At the Auto Expo 2018, when unveiling the H5X concept, Tata Motors had said that the production variant would retain 80% of the design cues from concept to creation. Recent spy images show most of the character lines have been retained, although as expected, the massive 22-inch alloy wheels on the concept have been replaced for more practical 18-inch tyres mounted on 5-spoke alloy wheels. The rest seems to be the same although we will have to wait for an official unveiling to be certain. What is visible is the fact that the production variant will retain the concept’s, high-set narrow headlamps and tri-arrow fog lamps from the concepts front section. Tata’s signature Humanity line ties the flanks together. Additionally, the large sloping roofline with the narrow rear section seems to be retained on the test-mule.
Once launched in 2019, the Harrier is likely to take on the Mahindra XUV500 and the Hyundai Creta and even the Jeep Compass. Each of these vehicles are strong contenders in their own right in the segment, and it will interesting to see Tata Motors’ pricing strategy. This, especially when considering the fact that Tata Motors usually undercuts the competition in terms of price. Interestingly, Tata Motors had filed for the copyright for the name 'Harrier' way back in September 2016. Tata's new SUV was first codenamed as Q5, the concept that was showcased at the Auto Expo 2018 was called as the H5X and the production version will be called Tata Harrier.
Globally, even Toyota has a crossover named 'Harrier' that has been on sale since 1997.