Tata Motors has officially unveiled its all-new small commercial vehicle (SCV) Tata Intra in India, and the model is all set to go on sale in the country on May 22, 2019. This is the first all-new compact truck to come from the company's stable after the very popular Tata Ace range, and the new Intra will be a bigger, premium and more powerful model. The company has confirmed that this is not a replacement for the Ace, but a new model altogether and it will be sold alongside the latter. In fact, considering the Ace is still the top-selling in the segment, with 20 lakh units sold so far, the company has no plans to discontinue it and has said that the Ace range will make the transition to BS6 as well.
In terms of dimensions, the new Tata Intra measures 4316 mm in length, 1639 mm in width and 1919 mm in height, which are pretty much similar to the Tata Ace Mega XL, the biggest Tata Ace out there. Tata says that the main design criteria for the Intra were that it had to be compact yet offered more productivity to owners. So, the payload bay alone is a segment-best 2512 mm long, 1602 mm wide and comes with a height of 463 mm, offering a wider and taller loading area than the Ace Mega XL.
Also, the new Intra offers a payload capacity of 1,100 kg in comparison to the 1000 kg payload capacity of the Ace Mega XL. In fact, the vehicle also offers best-in-class gradeability of 45 per cent for easily negotiating steep hilly roads & flyovers, compared to the Ace's 30 per cent gradeability. Furthermore, the vehicle comes with semi-elliptical leaf spring suspension setup with 6 leaves at front and 7 leaves at the rear, offering heavy duty performance.
All that said, when it comes to performance, the new Tata Intra is surely a segment above the entire Ace range. The vehicle is powered by a new Bharat Stage VI (BS-6) ready 1.4-litre Direct Injection (DI) diesel engine. The new 1396 cc engine is tuned to churn out 69 bhp @ 4000 rpm and develops a peak torque of 140 Nm @ 1800-3000 rpm. The engine comes mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox with cable shift mechanism. The biggest motor that you can get on a Tata Ace is an 40 bhp 800 cc motor that is offered with the Ace Mega XL.
Visually, the Tata Intra comes with a large front grille with a chrome slat similar to what we have seen on Tata's passenger cars. The grille is flanked by a set of nice-looking clear glass headlamp cluster with halogen lights and integrated indicators, and a busy-looking bumper with a wide central airdam and provision to install foglamps as well. The vehicle runs on a set of 14-inch steel wheels shod in radial tyres, but Tata offers these very stylish-looking hub-caps, which are truly good-looking and well-designed. The Tata Intra also gets large manually operable ORVMs and dual wipers, which in addition to these subtle character lines, add to the style quotient of the SCV.
The Tata Intra also comes with a well-laid-out cabin, featuring a neat dashboard that comes with contrast bezels around the centre console and air-con vents. Furthermore, because the gear lever is positioned on the dashboard, resulting in a flat walk-through-floor. Other features include a charging socket, lockable glovebox, a standard music system with Radio, AUX-IN and USB connectivity, and a fully digital instrument cluster, offering read-outs for speedometre, odometre, time, fuel gauge, and a segment-first gear shift indicator, or as Tata calls it Gear Shift Advisor (GSA).