Also known as the original BEAST, Safari SUV was first launched in 1998 and was discontinued in 2019
Celebrating the legendary character of Tata Safari, the company has shared a new video that details all that’s great about the SUV. Launched way back in 1998, Safari has been credited with pioneering the idea of ‘lifestyle SUV’. It had remained a popular choice for several years before production was stopped in 2019. With more than two decades in service, Safari had naturally reached the end of its lifespan.
Tata Safari was better known for its rugged nature with capabilities to tame any terrain. While it looked slick on city streets, it had immense off-roading capabilities. Auto enthusiasts still remember how easily Safari could conquer extreme environments such as sand, mud, rocky terrain, and high-altitude locations. It was due to these reasons that Safari was commonly referred to as the ‘beast’.
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Over the years, Tata Safari has received several updates. Its last iteration was Storme edition that was launched in 2012. Tata Safari Storme came with a 2.2-litre, 16-Valve DOHC diesel engine, offered in two states of tune.
On LX and EX variants, the SUV was tuned to deliver 148 hp of max power at 4000 rpm and 320 Nm of max torque at 1500-3000 rpm. On top-spec VX and VX 4×4 variants, power and torque output was higher at 154 hp / 400 Nm. While LX and EX variants had 5-speed manual transmission, VX and VX 4×4 variants were equipped with 6-speed manual transmission. Below is the new video, which has been shared by Tata Motors.
In terms of features, Safari Storme offered multi-function steering wheel, rear AC vents, electrically foldable and heated ORVMs, and 6-speaker infotainment system by Harman. Security features included dual-airbags, ABS with EBD, ultrasonic reverse parking system, side impact bars, engine immobilizer, door open warning and seat belt warning.
Can Safari make a comeback?
At the Auto Expo last year, Tata Motors had showcased Hexa Safari Edition Concept. Test mules of Hexa have been doing rounds near company plant. It is likely that the Hexa Safari Edition is launched soon, and could be the reason behind Tata sharing this new video.
Even though many people have expressed their desire to see Safari back, it’s unlikely that Tata Motors will resurrect a new-gen Safari SUV anytime soon. But, there is a chance to see the Safari nameplate back in 2021.
For now, the company is already working on its next-gen products, so the scope for an all new generation Safari is fairly limited. Taking up the baton from Safari will be Tata’s new products such as Gravitas and Sierra. The former was unveiled at 2020 Auto Expo and is scheduled to debut later this month on Jan 26. Official launch will be at a later date.
Gravitas is essentially a three-row version of Harrier, which is expected to get a range of premium and additional features. It is longer and taller than Harrier, even though both SUVs have the same wheelbase. Gravitas will take on rivals such as MG Hector Plus and next-gen Mahindra XUV500. It is expected to be priced in the range of Rs 15-20 lakh (ex-showroom).