Tata Xenon Tuff Truck Concept bows in Australia

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Following the cancellation of the Melbourne Motor Show, it would appear that automakers in Australia are looking for creative new ways to show off vehicles to consumers. Enter the country's National 4x4 and Outdoors Show and Fishing and Boating Expo. India's Tata Motors has used this weekend's festivities to reveal an off-road concept version of its Xenon pickup called the Tata Xenon Tuff Truck Concept.

In a land where midsize trucks are still a popular segment, the Tuff Truck Concept looks like a good way to create some excitement, and it is, without a doubt, an attention-grabbing rig. As is often the way with such things, the Australian-designed Tuff Truck Concept is not intended for production, but the Oz authorities at say Tata might consider building a production version in the future.

For this concept, Tata started with a standard Xenon and then fitted it with everything needed to help it traverse Australia's rugged Outback, including features like bigger wheels with meatier tires, an intake snorkel, LED running and off-road lights and a flush rear bumper with integrated D-rings. For more wow factor, it has all been finished off with a matte gray paint color apparently borrowed from corporate cousins Jaguar and Land Rover. The menacing look was conceived of by none other than Julian Quincey, chief designer at Holden Special Vehicles, a.k.a. HSV.

Tata will launch itself in Australia on the back of the Xenon pickup, but the standard truck won't offer all the toys seen on the Tuff Truck. However, it will feature a 2.2-liter turbodiesel offering 148 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque paired exclusively with a manual transmission. Tata is reportedly considering selling passenger cars in Oz as well, but the Nano is not expected to be a part of the program.

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