TATA XENON AUSTRALIAN PRICE
Indian carmaker Tata will headline its Australian return with the Xenon pickup, with the full range priced below $35,000 - although final pricing won't be revealed until its October launch.
The sub-$35,000 positioning means the Xenon will either match or undercut fellow newcomer Foton, with its Tunland pickup priced from $28,000 to $35,000.
The Xenon range will make its official premiere at this weekend's National 4x4 & Outdoors Show and Fishing & Boating Expo in Melbourne, ahead of an October sales launch.
Buyers 'in the know' will also be aware that the Xenon has already been available in Australia for some time, through Upton Motors in Queensland. The organisation will stay on as a Tata dealer through Fusion.
The Xenon range will be offered locally with six variants, mixed between 4x2 and 4x4 configurations, with chassis, single and dual-cab options.
All Australian models will be powered by a 2.2 litre turbodiesel engine producing 110kW and 320Nm, mated to a five-speed manual transmission. No auto option will be offered.
Fuel consumption figures are still to be confirmed, although Fusion has confirmed compliance with Euro V emissions regulations.
In dual-cab form, the Xenon measures 5190mm long, 1860mm wide and 1765mm tall, riding on a 3100mm wheelbase. Towing capacity is rated at 2500kg.
Standard features across the range will include air-conditioning, power windows, remote keyless entry, immobiliser and alarm, along with Bluetooth calling/streaming and USB audio connectivity.
The list of safety features will initially include just two front airbags, anti-lock brakes and electronic brakeforce distribution, although early 2014 will see the addition of electronic stability control, traction control and hill-hold assist.
A reversing camera with an in-mirror display will also be available as an option, while a higher-end $2500 dash display will add satellite navigation and a larger reversing display.
In the rear row, only the outboard seats get three-point seatbelts, with the middle seat limited to a lap belt. Tata has said there are no plans for an upgrade.
Fusion Automotive boss Darren Bowler believes the Tata ute's tough upbringing on rough Indian roads will make it a suitable alternative for Australian customers.
“There is no tougher place on earth to test vehicles than on the tough and demanding roads of India, and we believe this will give the Tata Motors products a competitive advantage within the Australian market,” Mr Bowler said.
“The light commercial segment is now the third largest segment of the Australian new-car market, with 13 major brands in the 4x2 and 4x4 categories. We believe there is demand in Australia for a utility range of vehicles with the toughness and value for money equation that Tata Motors products deliver.”
Fusion has secured 13 dealerships around Australia, although NT and ACT dealers won't be in business until early 2014. There are plans to expand the network to 25 dealers over the next 12 months.