Automotive naming is a tricky business, and carmakers tend to protect their nameplates with vigor, going so far as to file with intellectual property offices. One of the most famed instances of an automaker protecting its intellectual property is perhaps Peugeot versus Porsche back in the 1960's, resulting in the latter calling their signature sportscar the 911 instead of the 901.
Well, we can only venture a guess as to what Toyota is planning to do about Tata, as the Indian automaker has just decided to christen their upcoming SUV as the Harrier. For the unfamiliar, Toyota has used the same Harrier name since 1997 for a line of crossover SUVs (related to the Lexus RX and Toyota RAV4/Vanguard) that is still sold to this day in Japan.
Still, Tata is forging through. The SUV will be based on the H5X concept vehicle they unveiled earlier this year at Auto Expo 2018, an Indian motor show.
Tata's version of the Harrier will be a 5-seater, and will be a crossover monocoque/unibody SUV. Tata says the Harrier will be born of “legendary pedigree with sleek looks and dynamism”, and that it will serve as a glimpse of the company's future vehicles not just in design, but in technology and outright performance.
“With legendary pedigree running through its veins, ‘Tata Harrier’ promises to shatter all current benchmarks and pave entirely new standards for SUVs in India.” said Mr. Mayank Pareek, the president of Tata's Passenger Vehicle Business Unit.
Perhaps the reason why Tata used such interesting words such as pedigree in their introduction of the Harrier is because the company is the parent of Jaguar and Land Rover, and that the Harrier will benefit from the knowledge of JLR. The platform that the new crossover SUV will use is called the 'Optimal Modular Efficient Global Advanced' platform (or OMEGA, as they intended), and is based on the Land Rover D8 platform. Tata says their engineers adapted the platform to Indian conditions.
“We are excited to introduce the ‘Tata Harrier’ to our customers and are gearing up for the commercial launch in the first quarter of 2019.” concluded Pareek.
Toyota, however, might make some moves to show how much they disagree.