The Tata Ultra, built on the core philosophy to provide the best value for money offering to the customer, is a result of extensive feedback from customers and is specifically engineered for the South African market.
“Since its introduction, the Tata Ultra – dubbed the business utility vehicle – has been well received in the South African market. The positive response has encouraged us to launch the Ultra Plus 1418 at Ultra 814 AMT at this month’s Futuroad Expo to enhance the vehicle’s platform offerings. Be it large fleet operators, captive users, fleet rental companies or logistics companies, the Tata Ultra has an ideal solution for all,” says Harneet Luther, executive director at Tata Automobile Corporation SA.
The Ultra platform is engineered to be extremely versatile, boasting three deck lengths and three wheelbases with payloads ranging from four- to eight-tonnes. The platform also has a wider track and cab, which enables bodies with a width of up to 2,5 m – ideal for voluminous goods and giving the truck 15 to 20 percent better volume capability in its segment.
“This premium benefit offered in a seven to eight-tonne vehicle is being provided in a value-for-money offering, representing a massive advantage to the operator through enhanced profitability,” adds Luther.
Superior performance is guaranteed by a reliable and efficient next-generation common-rail engine offered in two configurations,
3,0-litre 103 kW (140 HP) or 5,0-litre 134 kW (180 HP), paired with either a manual or automatic six-speed gearbox.
Three-way adjustable suspended seats, parabolic leaf suspension, HVAC as standard, a walk-though cabin and a dash-mounted gear lever are some of the key features provided in the Ultra to ensure higher driver productivity and better fleet utilisation.
The vehicle also offers superior manoeuvrability with the lowest turning circle radius in its class even with its longer wheelbase and wider track, making it ideal for last-mile operations.
The Ultra is also equipped with full airbrakes, tubeless radial tyres and halogen headlamps. Furthermore, the vehicle meets ECER-29 crash-test standards. Luther says: “The Ultra has an electronic battery cut-off switch inside cabin to prevent truck jacking. This is a very important for South Africa. The batteries are also locked away to prevent theft.”
He adds that the Ultra is sold with a two-year/120 000 km service plan and a two-year/unlimited kilometre warranty. Combined with 91 touchpoints across South Africa, 24-hour towing and roadside assistance and nationwide parts availability – with 97 percent same-day availability on Top 500 parts – the vehicle is designed to provide complete peace of mind to the operator.
Maintenance is also extremely easy thanks to prop-shaft joints that are sealed for life and rubber bushes that eliminate the need for repeated greasing, while a hydraulically tilted cab offers technicians excellent accessibility.
“Tata is bullish on South Africa,” says Luther. “We have a range of world-class offerings to address the specific requirements of the market. We have many customers whose Tata trucks have exceeded a million kilometres in South Africa – and one whose vehicle has done over 4,2-million kilometres. That is the kind of ruggedness and reliability we build into our trucks. We are confident that, down the years, we will have similar success stories with the Tata Ultra. We have carried over the same genes and improved on them through extensive engineering.”
He says the Ultra is designed to ensure the best-bang-for-the-buck for a South African operator with perfect integration of versatility, performance, comfort, style and safety. “We are not branding the Ultra as a truck, but as a business utility vehicle (BUV) as we are offering premium utility-vehicle-like interiors on a functional and versatile load carrier,” he says.