Tata Motors has introduced a Sleek T. Series of range I&LCV segment-based trucks on the highly modular Ultra platform.

Story by Bhushan Mhapralkar

Launched in 2018, the Ultra has been one of the most modular and modern platforms to come out of Tata Motors after the Prima, which began life as the World Truck Programme. Seeding units even before 2018, the L&ICV-based platform has sprung more than the 14 key models that were announced in 2018. It has grown almost in every direction, and the new Sleek T. Series of trucks are no exception. Borrowing the narrow 1.9 m day cabin of the Ultra T.7, the Ultra Sleek T. Series has come to spring four-tyre and six-tyre models in an effort to address certain emerging (white space) market requirements in the first mile, last mile and line-haul categories. With the Indian CV market showing signs of LCV and ICV segments recovering faster than the M&HCV segments post the economic slowdown of 2019 and the pandemic of 2020, the Ultra Sleek T. Series vehicles include the T.6, T.7 and T.9.






Joining the legendary Tata 407 semi-forward control LCV and the other forward control LCVs and ICVs on the LPT platform, the Ultra Sleek T. Series vehicles reflect a much needed change in terms of performance, efficiency, safety, comfort and productivity. The modern narrow cabin of the new trucks is not only smart looking, it is also safe. It has been subjected to European cabin crash standards, according to Girish Wagh, President – CVBU, Tata Motors. Designed and engineered to suit contemporary urban transportation demands, the Ultra Sleek T. Series trucks ride on the popularity and familiarity of the existing Ultra truck and bus offerings. The Ultra family has grown to bridge the gap between the ICV and MCV segment. The Ultra 2821.T model with a sleeper cab has been well-received. Garnering 40 per cent market share by selling more than 20,000 vehicles in the domestic market and another 2000 units in the international market since 2018, the Ultra Sleek T. Series, according to Ajoy Lall, Head – Manufacturing (CVBU), Tata Motors, is built at a modern facility at Pune. The facility, he informed, includes a robotic weld line, dedicated clean room, world-class final assembly line, and a robust testing-line at the final roll-out stage.




Product transformation
Arriving in a BSVI environment, the Ultra Sleek T. Series trucks are said to be a result of product rationalisation at Tata Motors. Claimed to be the ones that go beyond mere BSVI transition, and instead help their manufacturer drive a clear-cut strategy of re-conceptualising and re-segmenting its entire product portfolio, the vehicles aim at a significant shift visible at the urban and line-haul level concerning e-commerce, construction and other streams. Claimed to offer best-in-class TCO, higher uptime, and driver comfort and convenience, the Ultra Sleek T. Series is about better connectivity with the help of an advanced telematics system called Fleet Edge. The 1900 mm wide walk-through safety cabin, engineered to aid manoeuvrability through narrow city lanes, is ergonomically well-sorted. It has modern interiors and features a dashboard-mounted gear lever, two-way adjustable seats (with armrest for the driver), and ABC pedals with tilt and telescopic steering. There’s also a factory fitted music system with two high-speed mobile charger USB ports on offer. The melba
fabric of the seats ensures comfort in every season of the year. A good assortment of utility and storage spaces ensure convenience.
The digital instrument console provides comprehensive information. It includes a real-time gear shift advisor to help the driver drive his truck in the most efficient manner. Also providing distance to the empty indication, the console has service alert, which helps to schedule a service appointment in advance. Fitted with an anti-skid foot step, the cabin is tiltable up to 45-degrees to provide easy access to the engine. Sporting striking looking clear-lens headlamps that provide good illumination at night, the Ultra Sleek T. Series trucks have LED lamps at the rear. Backed by the ‘power of six’ philosophy, which encompasses superior vehicle performance, driving comfort, convenience and connectivity, safety, and lower TCO. Sleeker, smarter, and capable of supporting faster movement, the Ultra Sleek T. Series of trucks are equipped with a new generation GB400 six-speed manual transmission and a larger 280 mm dia. clutch.

Sleek and modern
Engineered for higher utilisation and revenue per trip, the vehicles, fitted with a clutch booster to reduce the clutch pedal effort, are refined. Offering superior fuel efficiency, dynamism and drivability, according to Wagh, the trucks boast of a five-millimetre thick ‘C’ section chassis of high strength (HSS800) steel. The short members are bolted the the long member apart from the other mounting points for suspension, driveline, etc., for higher strength and modularity. The various models of the series sprig from multiple wheelbases achieved by varying the long member length and other related parts. Laced with a hydraulic braking system, the Ultra Sleek T. Series trucks have good gradability to address diverse application needs. Fitted with low rolling resistance radial tyres, the vehicles, capable of achieving up to 10 per cent better fuel efficiency, are had with a payload of between 3.3-tonnes and 5.2-tonnes. With a deck length measuring between 10 and 20-ft. – the T.6 is available in 10 ft., 12 ft. and 14 ft., the T.7 is available in 12 ft., 14 ft., 17 ft. and 20 ft. whereas the T.9 is available in 14 ft., 17 ft. and 20 ft., the Ultra Sleek T. Series has an extended service interval of 40,000 km.

Priced at Rs.14 lakh ex-showroom Delhi (T.6), Rs.15.29 lakh ex-showroom Delhi (T.7) and Rs.17.29 lakh ex-showroom Delhi (T.9) respectively, the Ultra Sleek T. Series vehicles are backed by a warranty of three years and three lakh kilometres, whichever is earlier. They also stand to profit from Tata Motors’ ‘Sampoorna Seva 2.0’, which is a complete care package that begins with the purchase of the vehicle, and includes insurance assistance, breakdown assistance, rewards, genuine spares, resale assistance, warranty assistance and more. It is designed to aid the transporter to concentrate where he or she should be, in fact, and looks beyond a mere annual maintenance contract, according to Tata Motors sources. Underlining a clever prospect of bridging the gaps between some of the segments that are showing better traction over others, and in view of the changing market and regulatory requirements, the Ultra Sleek T. Series trucks has the potential to take the game to the next level. What makes it more interesting perhaps is the talk of those players who have until now refrained from entering new segments like the LCV segment are now talking about getting there. Interestingly, the much familiar 407 with German roots still soldiers on, a number of buyers still finding it suitable for their kind of application!

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