In October last year, we broke the news that Tata Motors was set to enter the Philippine automotive market via a local distributor called Pilipinas Taj Autogroup. The brand launch is expected to take place at the Manila International Auto Show on April 3-6 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City, where four disparate Tata models will be formally introduced to the public.
The distributor's general manager, Nicky Mariano, has shared with us what those four models are. Mariano has also said that the four vehicles will be powered by the same engines they are sold with in the Indian market, where the units will be sourced from.
The first car is the Tata Manza, a four-door subcompact sedan that's about the size of the Toyota Vios. In India, the Manza is equipped with either a diesel or gasoline engine, but Pilipinas Taj will bring in the petrol version, which has a 1.4-liter four-cylinder motor that produces 89hp and 116Nm. The engine is mated to a five-speed manual transmission.
The second model is the Tata Sumo Gold, a '90s Pajero-looking SUV that's almost as long as the Mitsubishi ASX. Only the 4x2 variant will be brought in initially. It is powered in India by either a 3.0-liter CR4 turbodiesel rated at 84hp and 250Nm, or a 3.0-liter Di turbodiesel rated at 69hp and 223Nm. Obviously, we hope that it's the former that will be sold here.
The third vehicle is the Tata Vista, a small hatchback that's slightly longer than a Kia Picanto. The Vista is available in India with three diesel engines and one gasoline motor. We're getting the lone petrol powerplant, a 1.2-liter four-cylinder unit worth 64hp and 96Nm. Like the Manza, this variant comes with a five-speed manual gearbox.
The fourth model is the Tata Xenon XT, a compact pickup that's a bit shorter than (but just as wide as) the Isuzu D-Max. Fans of off-road driving will be relieved to know that both the 4x2 and 4x4 variants will be launched in our market. This workhorse is propelled by a 2.2-liter CRDi turbodiesel that churns out 138hp and 320Nm, and equipped with a five-speed manual transmission.
So, which Tata model can you picture parked in your garage this year?