Sources tell Indian Autos Blog that Tata Motors is likely to conduct the launch of the Storme after April. The Storme was showcased at the Auto Expo and the official fanpage of the Safari on Facebook is entertaining viewers with action shots of the vehicle playing with mud and gravel.
Tata has not stopped selling the Safari DICOR and it remains to be seen if the Storme phases out the predecessor completely on arrival.
Is Storme the SUV version of the Aria?
The Storme rides on the Aria platform but uses the same 2.2-liter engine (spec-ed identically at 140PS/320Nm) with modifications to its parts adapted from the Aria's development. The interior is all new with the use of fake wood inserts, new instrument cluster, seats, fabrics, colors, etc.
The model displayed at the Auto Expo did not have steering mounted audio controls, Sat Nav and the premium feel the Aria's cabin exudes. Unlike our initial suspicions, not all features have been transferred from the Aria. This maybe due to the fear of cost escalation.
Is the Storme as good as the good old Safari?
The Storme's looks has already been criticized for being near identical to the original. Much like the Swift, it feels like a facelift operation than an all new car. Tata may have chosen not to reinvent the wheel as the looks of the Safari is its USP. Another key feature enthusiasts will not miss is the car's ability to off-road.
Its off-road capabilities are preserved by retaining the Electronic Shift On The Fly and the 200mm ground clearance. Improvements to the gearbox (the Mk2 version of G76 unit is easier to operate), steering system with class-best turning radius of 5.4 meters should make the Safari an easier car to drive. Tata showed an extreme adventure model having the kit for the perfect weekend getaway. The future of this model is yet to be known.