Tata Sierra EV: All you need to know about the Sierra!
Tata Motors unveiled three new SUVs at the Auto Expo 2023 and the stall was abuzz with activity given the importance of these models. Having experienced these SUVs, namely the Tata Sierra EV, the Tata Harrier EV and the Tata Curvv at the Auto Expo, Editor Sirish Chandran got into conversations with the top executives of various departments at Tata Motors to answer your questions and provide an in-depth analysis regarding what we can expect with these upcoming Tata SUVs. Given its sheer popularity, we had to zero in on the Tata Sierra first.
Tata Sierra EV: When will it be launched?
Vivek Srivatsa, Head, Marketing, Sales and Service Strategy, Tata Passenger Electric Mobility Ltd. said that the Sierra will be coming in 2025, before which the Tata Curvv will be launched. The Sierra EV then, is two years away from being launched.
Tata Sierra EV design
The design of the new Sierra EV harks back to the design of the original, and the iconic form of the SUV, complete with its glasshouse has been productionized, by employing clever tips and tricks. The B-pillar for instance is body coloured, which creates the wraparound effect for the roof graphic.
It’s not completely glass anymore, but you do get a drop-down glass for the rear passenger, and that is actually a plastic finisher, along with a panoramic sunroof. Martin Ulharik, Global Design Head, Tata Motors says, “Most people still identify that (referring to the wraparound effect). That's the signature of a Sierra, so you don't actually have to write ‘Sierra’ on the vehicle because everybody should be able to tell it is one. It's such a unique DLO (daylight opening).” Martin has also confirmed the Sierra will be the same size as the Tata Curvv, being 4.3 metres long, which is roughly the same length as a Hyundai Creta.
Martin also confirmed that the Sierra’s design has been ready for production – and the vehicle shown at the expo was a pre-production model, “We’ve frozen the design already. That is the design I reviewed in Pune in our design studio,” he adds. The Sierra we saw at the Auto Expo wore MRF Wanderer tyres, not concept car rubber and it has been confirmed that the 20-inch alloy wheels will be present on the production-spec Sierra.
Tata Sierra EV platform
At the Auto Expo, the Sierra was showcased as an electric car and the car itself was an EV with a badge on the side to indicate the same thing. The Sierra EV, it will be based on Tata’s Gen 2 architecture. Tata has three platforms that it employs in electric vehicles. First of them are the Gen 1 architectures, which are essentially existing platforms that have been electrified – think of the Tata Nexon EV / EV Max, the Tigor EV and the Tiago EV.
The Gen 2 architectures are also existing platforms, but they have been heavily reengineered to package the electric powertrain more efficiently while also liberating more space and with upgrades for the upcoming safety norms. This Gen 2 architecture is based on the X4 platform (now called the Sigma platform for EVs), which we’ve already seen in the Tata Altroz. The X4 platform is the same ALFA platform present on the Altroz, which means that there is space for an ICE powertrain. That is why the Sierra EV has a prominent bonnet and not a stubby nose like a pure EV, like a Kia EV6 for instance. The beauty of the Gen 2 architectures is that they can have three powertrains – a petrol, a diesel or an electric. So the Sierra will get both ICE and EV powertrains.
Tata Sierra EV interior
The Sierra EV will get two seating layouts for the cabin – a conventional five seater with proper boot space and a rear bench seat, along with a ‘lounge’ variant that will be a four seater. The Sierra EV will also get three levels of screen sizes to choose from. The lounge version gets what Tata Motors’ calls a business class layout, and keeping chauffeur-driven passengers in mind, the packaging means it won’t feel like you’re sitting in a 4.3 metre vehicle, but one that is 4.5 or 4.6 metres long.
The Sierra EV will also get a foot stool that pops out, an arm rest, charging ports, a cubby hole for your tablet. While the Sierra concept unveiled at the 2020 Auto Expo had L-shaped seating, it wasn’t possible to work on it with current legislation and safety norms, and the L-shaped seating has transformed into the lounge seating you see here.
Tata Sierra EV powertrains
Starting with the range for the EV, Tata Motors has already announced that the Gen 2 architecture will have a minimum range of 500km – which is not a real world figure but one that is claimed. The Sierra will likely be a Gen 2+ architecture, which would mean it could push 600km of range.
The benefit of the success that Tata Motors has had in the EV space also means that they now have the profits to reinvest in their ICE powertrains. Tata Motors has not had a turbo-petrol engine (in the Safari / Harrier / Sierra segment) and now the carmaker has showcased their new direct injection turbo-petrol engines. These engines are offered in two capacities – a 1.2-litre three-cylinder and 1.5-litre four-cylinder engines. These engines will run on the Miller combustion cycle, which will also mean that they are a bit more fuel efficient than the other turbo-petrol engines, and they will also get a variable geometry turbocharger, gasoline direct injection and DCT gearboxes. The 1.5-litre engine will likely be offered in the Sierra. We expect the 1.5-litre engine to develop around 170bhp and 280Nm of torque, and to be mated to a manual as well as a DCT gearbox.
The Sierra will be offered primarily in front-wheel-drive guise, be it in the EV or ICE versions, and while it has not been confirmed officially, it will likely be offered with the option of an all-wheel-drive powertrain as well.