Automotive enthusiasts in South Korea were awed and surprised to spot a seemingly alien-looking SUV in their land
Tata Motors has been testing Harrier and Safari facelifts for several months. In a new development, Safari facelift has been spotted for the first time at an international location. To be precise, the test mule was spotted on the Gyeongbu Expressway in South Korea. Just like in India, the Safari facelift test mule was fully camouflaged.
It is not uncommon for carmakers to test new products at overseas locations. Varying driving conditions and climate aspects can probably provide extensive data about the car’s performance. This can be useful in developing more robust products. It is also to be noted that Tata uses automatic gearbox from Hyundai for Harrier and Safari. It is likely that the Safari spied here is testing the automatic gearbox on the facelift’s petrol version.
Safari facelift exteriors – what ‘s new?
Spotted multiple times on road tests, quite a few details about Safari facelift can be deciphered. The one spotted in South Korea is exactly the same as seen here in India. It is easy to infer that Safari facelift borrows its styling from Curvv concept. An even closer resemblance can be seen with Harrier EV that was unveiled at 2023 Auto Expo.
Among the changes seen with Safari facelift are the vertically stacked headlamps and refreshed grille and front bumper. Just like Harrier EV that had a full-width LED strip at front, a similar treatment could be introduced with Safari facelift. On an earlier test mule spotted in India, some portions of the LED strip were actually visible where the camouflage wrapping had come off.
Safari facelift is expected to get a new set of alloy wheels. Two versions have been spotted till date. One of these is a conventional type alloy wheel, whereas the other seems like shielded units usually seen with electric cars. It is not surprising since Safari electric version is also due for launch in near future. It is likely that Safari ICE facelift will debut first, followed by launch of Safari electric.
Another big update being speculated is a new logo for Tata’s passenger vehicle portfolio. As Tata cars evolve in their design, the current logo seems a bit outdated. Tata could introduce a new logo, while retaining the existing logo for its commercial vehicles.
Safari facelift could get petrol option
While Safari is a popular mid-size SUV, it is found lacking in terms of powertrain options. The current model has only the 2.0-litre diesel motor that makes 170 PS and 350 Nm. It is mated to either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. In comparison, rivals like XUV700 and Scorpio N have both diesel and petrol engine options.
It is possible that Safari facelift could get a new 1.5-litre turbo petrol motor that was showcased at 2023 Auto Expo. It generates 170 PS and 280 Nm. Transmission will include both manual and automatic options. Safari facelift could get some new premium features and safety equipment. These changes are likely to result in an increase in prices. Safari facelift could be launched at a starting price of around Rs 16 to 17 lakh. The existing model starts at Rs 15.65 lakh, ex-sh.