Tata Safari is available in six trims- XE, XM, XT, XT+, XZ, and XZ+ with prices starting at Rs 14.99 lakh and going up to Rs 21.81 lakh (ex-showroom)
Tata Safari has been greeted with decent response from both industry experts and consumers alike as sales figures for the recently launched seven-seater mid-size SUV stayed consistent. Last month, Tata Motors was able to sell 1,536 units of the SUV despite the restrictions imposed around the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It even managed to pip its 5-seater sibling, Harrier, by a small margin in terms of sales volume. In spite of being launched almost four months ago, a test mule of the SUV was recently spotted somewhere in Pune by Parked In Pune. The mule, as visible in the images, is fully wrapped under a camouflage.
Possible AWD variant
However, it is still pretty much clear that there are no major overhauls in terms of exterior design. This means the changes are limited to underneath the car which could translate to a new powertrain, transmission or more significantly a new 4×4 drivetrain.
While Tata Motors hasn’t included 4WD as an option in this iteration of Safari SUV, the company during its launch has kept the doors open if it seems there is enough demand among consumers to send power to all four wheels.
It should be noted, Safari is based on the OMEGARC platform that has been derived from the D8 architecture which previously underpinned Land Rover models such as Discovery Sport. This architecture supports all-wheel-drive functionality as well as an electrified powertrain if the company decides to incorporate either one of them in the future. In all probability, this prototype could be testing a brand new powertrain which is likely to be petrol-powered.
New Petrol Powertrain
It was earlier reported that Tata Motors is planning to launch a petrol engine option to the Harrier lineup which could also be extended to Safari. This could be done to counter the multiple engine options by other carmakers in this segment. For instance, Hector Plus offers a 2.0-litre diesel and a 1.5-litre turbo petrol motor as options.
Whereas, the upcoming Hyundai Alcazar will also offer a 2.0-litre petrol unit and a 1.5-litre diesel mill as options. The much-awaited Mahindra XUV700 will also be offered with gasoline and an oil burner unit as well.
Currently, Safari is offered with a sole 2.0-litre Kryotec diesel unit sourced from Fiat which delivers an output of 168 bhp and 350 Nm of peak torque. This unit is paired with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic gearbox. Another possibility could be that Tata Motors is testing a new component from a new vendor on Safari. Makers often change a component if there is room for improvement or there is a delay in supply from a particular third-party vendor.