When Tata Motors revived the Safari nameplate with the three-row version of the Harrier earlier this year, there was a lot of debate if this new SUV deserved the 'Safari' name. That's because unlike the original Safari, which was a true 4x4, the new Safari is only a front-wheel drive SUV. In fact, original Safari fanboys thought it was blasphemous to call this new SUV as the Safari. To save some grace, the new Safari gets some design elements that hark back to the original, but that's about it.
That said, the 'Safari' nameplate was the best marketing tool Tata Motors could employ to make their new flagship SUV a success in the market. The nostalgia factor was simply too much. Incidentally, The new Tata Safari is based on a Land Rover Discovery D8-derived Omega platform and is actually capable of supporting a four-wheel drive system. However, customers barely pay the premium for a 4x4 system and such SUVs mostly end up being bought in 2WD configuration. Hence, it made perfect sense for Tata Motors to make the new Safari a FWD SUV right from the onset.
However, the idea of a Tata Safari 4x4 is quite tempting, and so here we have a digital rendering of the Safari in a hard-core off-road spec. For starters, it is the Adventure Persona trim of the Safari that has been used as the base model in this rendering. That's evident front the 'Tropical Mist' paint shade in this Safari rendering, along with several blacked out elements like the grille, front bumper, headlamp surrounds, door handles etc. This is after all the most apt variant for an off-road spec Safari. Interestingly, most body panels have been kept identical to the stock car in this rendering, with only some key off-road enhancement.
The most obvious upgrades are the new wheels and the jacked-up suspension. The Safari can be seen wearing steel rims (possibly 14-inches) wrapped in massive mud terrain tyres. The SUV also gets a higher ground clearance in this rendering, thanks to raised suspension units that should allow for much longer wheel travel. Likewise, It also boasts of rock sliders on the sides that's meant to keep the body safe from rocks and boulders. This Safari comes fitted with a roof mounted LED light bar and two auxiliary lamps on the front wheel. This being a 4x4 SUV, there obviously have been mechanical upgrades with the addition of a rear drive shaft.
As standard, the 2021 Tata Safari is 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 comes mated to a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox. Tata Motors has, however, assured that the Land Rover-derived platform can be adapted to incorporate a four-wheel-drive system. Tata has said that based on customer feedback and research, they could actually explore the possibility of a 4x4 Tata Safari sometime in the future.