It is late evening and the road past Pen on the famous Mumbai-Goa national highways turns terrible. It becomes difficult to pick up the road from the potholes as the bright headlamp beams break the monotony of the dark. Progress, albeit at a slower pace, is assured by a reliable machine that the Tata 407 SFC Gold BSVI is turning out to be. It is taking what is thrown at it with a compliant. Moving cargo from Vasai on the outskirts of Mumbai to Dapoli, some 280 kms to the south, the LCV, in its new, BSVI avatar, is coming across as a capable machine that is still very much relevant. Against the backdrop of much modernisation that is sweeping through the CV industry for a decade or two now, the Tata 407 SFC Gold BSVI is making a case of how its semi-forward cabin is still keeping up with the times. Coming to life in the mid-80s when the tide of modernisation was sweeping through the various tiers of the Indian auto industry, starting with the arrival of Government-backed Maruti Udyog on the scene, the Tata 407 did not take time to carve out a niche for itself. It was not an easy task with the likes of DCM Toyota, Eicher Mitsubishi and Swaraj Mazda on the scene.
Rolling off the Tata Motor’s modern facility built inside a vast plant at Pune, the Tata 407 drew many who found its semi-forward stance similar to that of a light truck by a German manufacturer. At a time when trucks were mostly offered as a rolling chassis, the Tata 407 offered a strong, fully-built cabin. Its efficient diesel engine changed the equation in terms of who trucks were perceived then. Much water has flown under the bridge, and the 2020 model with a 100 hp, three-litre BSVI diesel engine mated to a five-speed manual gearbox is turning out to be quite in tune with the times. The maximum torque has gone up from 250 Nm to 300 Nm. Work has also gone into making it more reliable and dependable as it gets up to the BSVI level. Seeing improvement on the NVH front too, with the use of new engine mounts that ensure no vibrations pass through, the use of better insulation material has also led to a cabin that is quieter and more comfortable.
UP TO SPEED
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