Unveiled earlier this year at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo, the Tata Safari Storme was expected to hit showrooms around June. The launch got delayed due to unexplained reasons but with the festival season approaching, there is a strong possibility that the SUV will finally see the light of day. (Update: The Tata Safari Storme will launch on October 17!)
The Safari Storme is essentially a face-lift hence there isn’t anything radically different about it in terms of looks compared to the current model. The most visible changes are a new honeycomb grille, projector headlamps and a 'power bulge' on the bonnet. The rear gets chrome-tipped twin exhausts and a new, half greyed-out tailgate with the spare tyre now placed under the SUV. On the inside, the Storme is more spacious and it gets luxurious beige seats to match the leather-wrapped steering wheel and wood-accented dashboard and door trims.
The Safari Storme borrows several features from the Aria including the chassis and suspension for better ride and handling. Even the engine is similar to the Aria’s – a more refined and responsive 2.2-litre DiCOR mill that develops 142PS of power and 320Nm of torque. The five-speed manual gearbox, too, has undergone tweaks for a better driving experience. Other improvements include a shorter turning radius, disc brakes all round and ABS.
The current Safari retails between Rs 8.28 lakh and Rs 13.26 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) depending on the variant but Tata will have to do better to ensure the new model stays competitive enough among the likes of Mahindra Scorpio, Renault Duster and the Chevrolet Tavera, and, of course, make the wait worthwhile for all those looking forward to the SUV.
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