The Tata Safari has made a comeback, but the legendary SUV is here with an all-new design language, which according to Tata is an evolution of the original Safari, comes with a new powertrain, new monocoque chassis instead of the classic body-on-ladder frame, new generation electronics and the latest-generation features, but is offered only with a front-wheel-drive architecture.
Here we compare the 2021 Tata Safari that has been unveiled recently in the Indian market with the Tata Harrier on which the new Safari is based on and shared most of the underpinnings, the exterior design, interior features as well as the powertrain and pin them against the old Safari Storme which is the evolution of the original Tata Safari that was launched in 1998.
The 2021 Tata Safari is based on the Tata Harrier SUV and is essentially a 6/7-seater version of the Tata Harrier SUV. The 2021 Safari could also be called the extended version of the Harrier with a larger overhang at the rear and a stepped roof, traits similar to the original Safari that also trickled down to the Safari Storme. In terms of size, the Tata Harrier measures 4598mm in length, 1894mm in width and 1706mm in height. The 2021 Tata Safari measures 4661mm in length, 1894mm in width and 1786mm in height. The now-discontinued Tata Safari Storme measures 4,655 mm, in length, 1,855 mm in width and 1,922 mm in height towering above the new Safari but with a slightly smaller wheelbase and overall length lack interior space which is much superior on the 2021 Safari.
Chassis and Powertrain
The 2021 Tata Safari and the Tata Harrier are built on the Land Rover D8 platform derived OMEGARC which is short for Optimised Modular Efficient Global Advanced – Architecture and shuns the body-on-ladder construction for a more advanced monocoque frame that adds to a lot of advantages such as speed, agility, lightness, easy ingress and egress for passengers, space, etc. The new chassis also comes with a front suspension design from the Land Rover D8 and a semi-independent Twist Blade rear suspension developed by Lotus Engineering giving the 2021 Safari mild off-roading abilities even without 4×4 drivetrain. The Safari Storme was based on a body-on-ladder chassis design and used to come with a VARICOR 400 series 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine that produced 156 PS of power and 400 Nm of torque matched to a 6-speed manual. The 2021 Safari and Harrier are powered by an FCA-derived 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel motor that makes 170 PS of power and 350 Nm of torque matched to a 6-speed manual as well as a 6-speed torque converter automatic.
Design and Features
The 2021 Safari and Harrier are based on the brand’s latest IMPACT 2.0 design language and the 2021 Safari feature the original Safari’s iconic roof rails, a similar roof silhouette, muscular wheel arches, a large rear window area and both the 2021 Safari and Harrier come with LED DRLs, projector headlamps, LED turn indicators, LED taillamps, touchscreen infotainment system, semi-digital instruments cluster, ambient lighting, connectivity features, automatic climate control air-conditioning etc as well as the latest generation active and passive safety features such as multiple airbags, all-wheel disc brakes, ABS, EBD etc. The Safari Storme used to come with an audiotainment system, control mounted steering, rotary knobs on the climate control, a minimalist dashboard and analogue instruments.
The Safari Storme used to retail starting at INR 11.09 lakh ex-showroom. The Tata Harrier is priced starting INR 13.99 lakh ex-showroom. The brand has not released the pricing on the 2021 Safari but it is expected to retail starting at the INR 15 lakh ex-showroom mark.