Tata Motors dropped a bomb a few days ago when they announced that they will be resurrecting the 'Safari' nameplate in India. While the official unveil of the 2021 Tata Safari was slated for January 26, 2021, the company has now released a few images of the final, production-spec 7-seat SUV. Tata Motors have rolled the first production model off the assembly line at the company's manufacturing facility in Pune, Maharashtra. Bookings for the 2021 Tata Safari are set to commence later this month, and the launch is expected to take place in February.
The model that was showcased at the 2020 Auto Expo was codenamed as the Gravitas. In fact, it was first called the Buzzard when it was showcased at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. These first official images of the new Tata Safari confirm that it will be largely similar to the Gravitas concept seen at the Auto Expo. However, there are some key differences to note. The Safari boasts an unique grille up front with Tata's signature tri-arrow motifs finished in chrome. There’s more chrome encasing the split headlight clusters and on the door handles. The Safari also boasts of a new Harbour Blue paint shade but the alloy wheel design remain identical to that of the Harrier.
The rear end of the Safari is completely unique with a full rear-quarter glass, a stepped roof and a more upright rear section. The tail-gate is completely new and the tail lights are slightly different as well. The Safari also gets new roof rails with silver inserts bearing the Safari inscription. The Safari always had to be a genuine 7-seater and Tata say that the upcoming SUV will not have an apologetic third row of seats. There are several elements in the design that nod to the original. The high bonnet, a strong face, the stepped roof, the rear three-quarter glass and stadium seating - all hark back to the original Safari.
Tata have also added 63mm to the Harrier’s length and 80mm to the height to make way for a decent third row. Just like the Harrier, the Safari too will be based on the Land Rover-derived Omega architecture. Tata Motors have said that the Land Rover Discovery-derived D8 platform can be adapted to incorporate a four-wheel-drive system. Tata have said that based on customer feedback and research, they could actually explore the possibility of a 4x4 Safari sometime in the future. On the inside, the Safari have an Oyster White interior theme, and an ash wood insert for the dashboard.
It will come in two seating configurations - a 6-seater with captain seats and a 7-seater with bench seats. Although Tata have not released any official images of the interiors yet, the basic dashboard layout and features list will remain more or less identical to the Harrier. The Tata Safari will be powered by the Harrier's Fiat-sourced 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder diesel engine that produces 168 bhp and 350 Nm of peak torque. The engine will come mated to a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox. It will come at a decent premium over the Harrier which is priced between INR 13.84-20.30 lakh and will rival the likes of the MG Hector Plus and upcoming next-gen Mahindra XUV500.