Tata Motors have revived the iconic Safari nameplate in India with the three-row version of the Tata Harrier. Slated for a launch on February 22, 2021, the 2021 Tata Safari will be the carmaker's flagship offering in India. First launched in 1998, the Tata Safari enjoyed a cult status among SUV buyers then. It was in production until late 2019 but Tata Motors had to pull the plug on the SUV as we stepped into the stricter BS6 emission norms era.
Interestingly, a test mule of the Tata Safari Storme was recently spotted in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. Tata Motors have stopped manufacturing the previous-gen Safari Storme. Spotting one on test thus comes up as a surprise. This test mule was spotted around TELCO (Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company) facility in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. Now Tata's TELCO plant develops and produces components for powertrains and drivetrains for various Tata cars.
This spotted test mule of the Tata Safari Storme around the TELCO facility could thus be out on a component testing job. It must be noted that the Army-spec GS800 Safari Storme will still be made on demand for the defense forces. It could be that Tata Motors is testing an updated version of the Army-spec GS800, but has been dressed in its civilian skin for testing purposes. Earlier, a prototype of the Tata Hexa was also spotted around the carmaker's Pune facility and while it gave birth to a lot of rumors, it was later revealed that Tata Motors were just using it for some internal R&D purposes.
As for the new-gen Tata Safari, it is based on the Land Rover-derived Omega architecture, the same that underpins the Tata Harrier. Under the hood, 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 comes mated to a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox.
While the original Safari was a proper 4x4, the new Safari is only a front-wheel drive SUV. Tata Motors, however, 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.
[Image Source - IndianAuto.com]