Tata Motors' new turbo-petrol to power Curvv and Sierra, and may boost existing cars too | The Financial Express

Tata Motors’ new turbo-petrol to power Curvv and Sierra, and may boost existing cars too

In an interview with Financialexpress.com, Tata Motors’ vice president sales, market and customer service, Rajan Amba talks of the company’s internal combustion engine strategy and future fuels.

Tata Motors Sierra and Curvv
Tata's new turbo petrol engines will be offered in the Sierra and the Curvv SUVs

Tata Motors has slowly and steadily built a solid portfolio of SUVs and its showing at the Auto Expo 2023 reiterated its plans, with the Avinya concept SUV, the Harrier EV, Sierra and Curvv. While most of these were shown in electric vehicle format, Tata also announced the launch of two new petrol engines that will power some of its future vehicles. These engines are different from Tata’s Revotron family of engines that are already in use in cars such as the Tata Punch, Tata Nexon and Tata Altroz. 

The two new engines are turbo-charged petrol engines that come in 1.2-litre and 1.5-litre capacity. The 1.2-litre turbo-charged petrol (TGDI) engine is a three-cylinder motor that puts out 122 bhp of power and 225 Nm of torque. The 1.5-litre TGDI engine is a four-cylinder motor with a rated output of 165 bhp and 280 Nm of torque. The engines are BS6 compliant and E20 compliant, meaning they can run a blend of 20% ethanol and 80% petrol. 

Speaking about these engines on the sidelines of the Auto Expo 2023, Rajan Amba, vice president, sales, marketing, and customer service at Tata Motors, says these engines will see an application in the new concepts shown at the Expo. 

Also Read: In Images | Tata Sierra EV revealed at Auto Expo 2023: Launch in 2025

“These new engines are lightweight, certainly have better fuel efficiency, better emissions and are more powerful with high low-end torque. They will come into the new concepts that we have, for example, in the Tata Sierra and the Tata Curvv. We have a new plant so these cars will get them from the get-go,” says Amba. 

Rajan Amba: Tata Motors’ vice president sales, market and customer service

Currently, Tata doesn’t have petrol engines on offer in its larger SUVs such as the Tata Harrier and Tata Safari – both of which are offered only in diesel with a 2-litre engine sourced from Fiat. Quizzed if these would possibly get the 1.5-litre turbo-petrol, Amba says “It’s not that simple. We will keep on evaluating how we can also add them to our current portfolio as there’s a lot of reengineering to be done.”

Multi-fuel strategy

Tata is experimenting with a hybrid fuel strategy for its small cars. At the Expo, it showcased a Tata Altroz and Tata Punch with twin-cylinder CNG technology. Having two smaller cylinders with a 30Kg capacity helps in packaging the vehicle better and saving on boot space. 

“At one end, we are making investments in these vehicles, where we see that there are white spaces and volumes, and where the benefits are higher for consumers. On the other hand, we have to balance our capacities. The Nexon is almost 15,000 units a month and Punch is easily 11,000 to 12,000. We have to balance our capacities till the time the Ford plant comes on stream. We are already at 90-95% capacity utilisation today. We have to balance not only for our customers but also for our shareholders,” adds Amba.

In addition to talking about Tata’s new engines, Amba also spoke about the company’s readiness for BS6 phase 2 or the real driving emissions (RDE) norms that will be coming in April 2023. He says Tata is ready for it and already compliant, also pointing out that the company will continue to keep safety as a strong priority, given the fact that most of its cars are five-star safety rated and among the safest cars in India.

Limited life of cars is positive

Speaking about the limited lifespan of cars, especially in the Delhi-NCR region with diesel cars being restricted to 10-years and petrol 15, with mandatory scrapping, Amba says it’s all positive from a net zero carbon neutrality perspective. 

Also Read: Tata Tiago EV vs Tiago iCNG: Price, specs comparison

“Manufacturers can do one thing from an emissions perspective. But finally, even the consumers have to move in that direction mentally and make those choices. But at the same time some of these things like 10-year life will make sure that the loop towards green mobility is getting tighter and tighter, for the sake of all our futures, for our children and for our grandchildren,” says Amba. 

With diesel, CNG, petrol, flex-fuel and electric vehicles in its portfolio, where does Tata see itself prioritising its investments? 

Amba says: “I think the philosophy of prioritizations is different for different companies. I mean, we certainly have net zero goals very much on top of mind, we are FAME compliant, and we are in the mass segment. In 2016, prices of small cars were averaging about Rs 5.5 lakh to Rs 6 lakh, which has now moved up to Rs 9.5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh. We have to look at our financials and a combination of all these factors to make those calls.

“The expo gives us an opportunity to showcase all the calls that we have taken such as the CNG side and new engines. I think that the future is moving in the right direction.”  

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First published on: 16-01-2023 at 16:35 IST