January 2021 has surprisingly become the month of SUVs. After the launch of Toyota’s all-new Fortuner and Fortuner Legender, it’s Tata’s turn to reveal its flagship SUV. And judging by what we’ve been offered, they have surely won this one!
At the Auto Expo 2020, Tata Motors revealed that a 7-seat SUV based on its successful Harrier will serve as the Indian automaker’s flagship model, which was named ‘Gravitas’. And just over 11 months later, Tata has decided that the SUV will be called Tata Safari! Yes, the seven-seater will wear the legendary badge on its back. The SUV will reach the showroom floors in January 2021, itself.
“Safari glamourized the whole segment. For nearly two decades, it stood for prestige, raw power, absolute performance, and strong road presence, and in its new avatar, it will carry forward this strong legacy as it combines Tata Motors’ award-winning IMPACT 2.0 design language and the architecture capability of the Omega architecture”, shares Mr. Shailesh Chandra, President, Passenger Vehicles Business Unit, Tata Motors.
When compared to its younger-sibling, Tata Harrier, the all-new Safari will be aimed at a different group of buyers. The SUV will be for those who are socially-active, travel in groups seeking out adventures while wanting a rich experience on the inside.
To everybody’s surprise, Mr. Chandra says that originally, this new SUV was conceptualized as the new Safari owing to the many similar elements to the previous-gen model. A strong front-fascia, a high bonnet, stepped-roof, the infamous three-quarter glass on the rear, all these make the new Safari stay original while taking the legacy forward.
2021 Tata Safari could get the 4×4 variant in the future
This bodes well for all those who loved the Safari, and even more so for its rugged yet, smooth-operating 4×4 system. Tata Motors’ Land Rover-derived Omega architecture on which the new Safari is based, can incorporate a four-wheel-drive-system and so, we could potentially witness a 4×4 variant of the Safari on roads again, later this year.
Dimensions & Powertrain
To make way for the third-row seats to fit in, Tata has decided to make the new Safari 63mm longer than the Harrier, as well as 80mm taller. To provide a greater distinction (between Harrier & Safari) for the buyers, the Indian automotive marque will also provide some new colour options, along with new wheel designs.
On the engine side, the Safari will borrow the 170hp, 2.0-litre Kryotec turbo-diesel motor from the Harrier. Along with that, it will also carry its 6-speed manual ‘box, and a 6-speed torque-converter, too.
Expected price-range & competitors
Considering the all-new Safari is set to be Tata Motors’ flagship SUV, it is safe to assume that it will cost a fair bit more than the Harrier which sells for ₹13.84-20.30L (ex-showroom). As for its rivals, when it is launched, it will go up against the likes of MG Hector Plus, and the current-gen Mahindra XUV 500. Later in the year, however, when its 4×4 variant is made public, it will have the next-gen XUV 500 & the Hyundai Creta-based seven-seater to fight against. Not literally, though.