Future Models - Tata 2013 Xenon
Tata’s one-off Australian ute
Show truck: There’s no production plans yet, but the local distributors have fingers crossed for Tata Tuff Truck Concept
Muscular Tata Xenon Tuff Truck Concept created and produced in Melbourne
Click to see larger images
23 August 2013
THE local distributor for Indian industrial conglomerate Tata has sprung a
surprise, unveiling a concept vehicle based on the forthcoming Xenon ute and
developed in the suburbs of Melbourne.
On display at the National 4x4 and Outdoors Show and Fishing and Boating Expo
in Melbourne this week, the (for now) one-off Xenon Tuff Truck Concept vehicle
is under consideration for production at an undisclosed future date.
“We want to gauge public reaction first,” says Darren Bowler, managing director
of newly appointed Australian Tata distributor Fusion Automotive.
“The acceptance I am looking for is brand appeal. If you look at the Xenon and
the toughness and appeal that it offers in its segment, doing the Tuff Truck
Concept immediately boosts that brand appeal from day one.
“But at the moment it is purely a concept. I’d love to put it in production
someday. But the reality is there needs to be the market demand for it first.”
Among other appearances, the Tuff Truck will star on Tata’s stand at the New
Delhi International Motor Show next February.
Created in part to help launch the Tata brand nationally with a bang in
Australia after years of low-volume distribution by Queensland dealer Upton’s
Motors, the concept vehicle features a number of unique items created under the
supervision of Julian Quincey of the Walkinshaw Automotive engineering and
design centre in Clayton, Victoria.
Fusion is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Walkinshaw Group of companies.
Using the production Xenon Dual Cab pick-up as a starting point, the Melbourne
designers decided upon a satin finish grey known as Arden (from the Jaguar/Land
Rover paint palette), contrasting with darker plastic cladding to help slim
down the overall height.
They then took to altering or restyling all the non-metal and glass parts of
the vehicle’s exterior.
Among the changes are a reshaped grille with a larger Tata badge finished set
in a bright red background, re-designed front and rear bumpers, a new front air
intake with an alloy skid plate featuring winch and tow hooks that are meant to
give the Xenon a lower, wider, and more aggressive look, bespoke 20-inch alloy
wheels (the largest that would fit beneath the flared arches) machined from a
solid billet of aluminium, a unique roof-mounted light bar carrying a quartet
of Narva LED Xenon lighting, and the de rigueur snorkel and sports bar out back.
Daytime driving lamps, as part of a set of driving lights, complete the Tuff
Truck Concept’s visual modifications. There are no cabin changes from the
production vehicle at this stage.
The Walkinshaw team used a full-sized clay model Xenon, and employed latest 3D
printing technology for the roof rack and snorkel, while the grille and other
items were milled from ABS plastics.
Originally commissioned to debut at the aborted Australian International Motor
Show in Melbourne in late June, the project commenced in February this year.
“The Fusion and Tata teams gave us a brief to design a one-off lifestyle Xenon
that would appeal to design-savvy Australian Crew Cab buyers,” Mr Quincey said.
“We wanted to show how well the Xenon design works when carefully visually
developed to suit the local market.”