Tata Motors had a subdued Geneva Motor Show what with the Indian car and utility major essentially showcasing recycled stuff. The two major attractions from Tata Motors at Geneva 2013 are the Aria Automatic crossover and the Tata Safari Storme Mountain Rescue concept. While the Safari Storme’s mountain rescue variant is a fresh take on the SUV, the Aria Automatic is a car that was showcased over a year ago, at the 2012 Indian Auto Expo to be precise. While the Safari Storme Mountain Rescue is more of a one off concept, the Aria Automatic is lined up for production.
The Aria Automatic features a 6 speed automatic transmission with the Tiptronic function. The engine remains the 2.2 Liter DICOR turbo diesel engine outputting 140 Bhp of peak power and 320 Nm of peak torque. The 6 speed automatic transmission is rated to handle up to 400 Nm of torque. The Aria equipped with the automatic gearbox is expected to be sold both in India as well as in international markets. Tata Motors has plans of launching the Aria Automatic in India by the end of 2013. Along with the automatic gearbox, the Aria gets a makeover of sorts.
On the outside, the Aria Automatic gets smoked headlamps and a new tail lamp cluster. On the inside, the dashboard and interiors get a makeover with a cream leather finish. These changes are expected to make it to all variants of the Aria in the coming months. The Aria has been a dud seller for Tata Motors with sales figures of the crossover in the Indian car market falling to an abysmal 4 units in February 2013. With the automatic version of the Aria, Tata Motors could be hoping to break into export markets where automatic gearboxes are preferred over manual transmissions.
The Aria is the flagship vehicle in Tata Motors’ passenger car range and the crossover features a level of fit and finish that’s better that all other car models in the Tata range. However, the steep initial price of the Aria meant that the crossover never really managed to catch the car buyer’s attention given the fact that cars in Tata Motors’ range are still a while away from hobnobbing with cars priced at over 15 lakh rupees. The Aria’s top end 4X4 variant costs about 20 lakh rupees in Bangalore, a price that hasn’t gone down well with prospective buyers. Tata Motors has made amends by launching a cut price version of the Aria, a crossover that’s priced at just under 10 lakh rupees. Even so, the Aria has never really recovered from the initial loss in momentum. So, it’ll be interesting to see how Tata Motors turns around the fortunes of the Aria in India.