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Tata Safari is making a comeback to the Indian market after a gap of 2 years. The iconic SUV is being reintroduced as a 7-seater SUV in the domestic market. Based on OMERGARC (Optimal Modular Efficient Global Architecture) platform which is derived from the Land Rover D8. The first unit has already been rolled out of the production facility in Pune with the official debut scheduled for January 26, 2020. Earlier codenamed Gravitas, the 7-seater SUV will rival the likes of Jeep Compass Facelift and MG Hector Plus in India. Despite its discontinuation for the civilian population, the Indian Army continued to purchase Tata Safari GS800 with modifications.
The off roader has been spotted multiple times in various military outposts as well as driving around the senior officers. There is no word out on the possible acquisition of 2021 Tata Safari by the Indian Armed forces as of now, but it would be worthwhile to imagine it as an army vehicle.
In a new digital rendering, the upcoming Tata Safari seems to be a good fit for the army. In the image, the army-spec 2021 Safari sports Foliage Green colour scheme which is the same paint shade seen on the older army-spec Safari Storme GS800. The major update is the added layer of protection for the front & rear windshields and side glass panels. To help the driver navigate the terrain during the night, there is an LED bar light housed on the roof. Antennas are placed on the front and rear fenders for boosting radio communication. There is a space on the hood for accommodating a flag post. Considering the Army operates in inhospitable and harsh terrains, the vehicle will feature steel wheels.
The original Safari was a proper 4X4, but the new Safari will come with only a front-wheel drive system. That is the only obstacle to the Safari being acquired by the Army. The Indian Army needs a proper 4X4 vehicle to navigate the terrains in far-flung areas like Ladakh, Rann of Kutch among others. There is a possibility of a 4X4 drive system coming soon with the Safari given that the platform that it uses is capable of adapting to this component. Tata Motors could incorporate the 4X4 if there is a demand for the same from the Indian consumers. Also, electrification could happen eventually if there is a strong demand for an EV based SUV in the country.
Talking about performance, 2021 Tata Safari will house Fiat-sourced 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder diesel engine. The SUV will deliver 168 bhp of maximum power output and 350 Nm of peak torque. The engine will be paired to a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission. The same engine powers Tata Harrier currently selling in the domestic market. New Tata Safari price is expected to begin from Rs 14.5 lakh (ex-showroom), India.