10 Things You Should Know About The New Tata Safari
The flagship SUV is set to be unveiled on January 26
Tata recently announced that it will be resurrecting the Safari moniker for its upcoming flagship SUV. Given the iconic status of the Safari brand, the new SUV has a lot to live up to. Here are ten things you should know about the 2021 Safari before its official reveal on January 26:
We’ve kind of already seen it
Remember the 7-seater version of the Harrier that we were waiting for? The one that was showcased at Auto Expo 2020 as the Gravitas? Yeah, that’s the new Safari. Even before that, we saw it as the Tata Buzzard concept which previewed the European-spec model that debuted at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show.
What is it based on?
The Safari is based on Tata’s OMEGA ARC platform, which also underpins the Harrier. It is developed from Land Rover’s D8 platform and will be the second-ever Tata product to be based on the OMEGA ARC platform. It is essentially a stretched three-row version of the Harrier.
What will it look like?
Based on the Gravitas, which was unveiled in a close-to-production specification, expect the Safari’s front-end to look similar to the Harrier but with minor differences such as a new tri-arrow chrome grille. While the front fascia gets an alternate grille, the biggest difference will be the rear with the tall stepped roof and flat end.
Three rows of seating
The old Safari came with jump seats behind the bench seat but the new one will get three rows of forward-facing seats. As a result, it’ll be a better family SUV than before while the third row could also be folded down for added practicality to offer more luggage space.
Choice of captain seats
Tata will be offering the 2021 Safari with a choice of 6- and 7-seater configurations. We cannot say if both options will be available from launch, but we’ve seen the test mules of both. The 6-seater Safari will be fitted with captain seats in the middle row for added comfort which will likely feature slide/recline functions too.
Feature-loaded offering and premium cabin feel
Tata is going to make the Safari a feature-packed SUV, with some additions over the Harrier. It will have the same dashboard layout with the 8.8-inch touchscreen central display but an updated infotainment system with connected car technology. The Safari is also expected to feature a powered tailgate, an electronic parking brake, and charging ports for both middle and third-row passengers. While the Harrier comes in a darker cabin theme -- dual-tone black and dark brown or all-black -- the Safari will come with a lighter black and cream colour scheme. It will make the cabin airier in comparison to the Harrier.
Both petrol and diesel engine options likely
The Tata Safari is sure to get the same 2.0-litre diesel engine at launch as the Harrier but a new 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine is also said to be in the works and could be introduced first in the Safari. The diesel unit makes 170PS of power and 350Nm of torque with the option of a 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic transmissions.
No 4WD at launch
Since the new Safari will get the same drivetrain as the Harrier, it will be a 2WD offering only at launch. Tata currently does not offer any 4WD model and we’re still waiting for the BS6-compliant Hexa. The previous model was renowned for its off-roading capabilities so Tata could still introduce a 4WD option for the new Safari if there’s enough demand.
The new Tata Safari will be the brand’s flagship offering so expect it to be the priciest as well. It will be a diesel-only offering as of now and will likely be priced from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 22 lakh.
Tata’s flagship offering is a bit late to the three-row SUV segment and will be a direct rival to the MG Hector Plus and the upcoming second-gen 2021 Mahindra XUV500. Its pricing will also place it in competition with premium 5-seater SUVs such as the Kia Seltos, Hyundai Creta, Jeep Compass, Hyundai Tucson as well as the standard MG Hector and Tata Harrier.
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