Tata Sierra an icon produced in India, now it’s a long lost and very hard to find them on the roads of India today. I’d like to bring it in focus since this was the first ever car to be completely designed in India! Yes we Indians designed this icon. Tata Sierra was a three door Sport-utility vehicle which was produced in the 1990’s eventually the production ended with the launch of the Tata Safari.
The car design was not too simple or too complex for its time, it had a fair body line, and the front was kept simple which had boxy head-lamps and the radiator grill which had the old Tata symbol. The sides which had a flamboyant wheel arch and huge see through windows was a huge hit in its day, this is unique till today and you can recognize a Tata Sierra from a long distance by this. The rear housed a simple but effective tail lamps but the spare-wheel was positioned in the center, don’t know why Tata took this decision but this was an added appeal to its looks.
The interiors were ahead of its day, because this was the first ever diesel car of its time which was accepted by the Indian market and it had power windows, air conditioning, power steering and a tachometer. The interiors were well made, the instrumentation cluster was just made up of three round dials, the center dial was the speedometer which indicated a maximum speed of 160 km and the dial towards the right was the R.P.M meter or the tachometer which indicated the maximum rev to be 6X1000 r.p.m! The other dial was divided into two equal parts, which one incorporated a temperature gauge and the other one to be a fuel gauge. The center console had air blower vents and a space for the audio system’s head unit. The glove box was lockable, the rear had a simple treatment good seats with good view was a treat for the passengers in the rear. On the whole the interiors were clean for that time.
The engine was at the front, five speed transmission with an option of four wheel drive was on the offering cards. The engine was a 1.9L naturally aspirated engine doing a top speed of around 130km/hr, this was shared between the Tata Mobile and the Tata Estate produced in those years. This was a rugged machine built by Tata and the suspension coped with the stress and strain the driver used to give. Even though for its high ground clearance it was fun to drive on the highways and often people say it’s true character came to light on the high ways.
Later on the Tata rolled out its Sierra with a turbo, a bit more powerful car with better stuff packed in and was even more fun to drive! This was a car which had two rear wipers in the back! This was madness, and had a top speed of around 160 km/hr! on the whole ‘Tata Engineering works’ which was a badge on the early Sierra was a true built car!