Tata Safari Storme: Extreme makeover

Let’s go back a few years, or rather, more than a decade, when Tata brought in the Safari. The year 1998 was a very different time and the Safari was one heck of a ‘luxury’ SUV despite the agricultural 2.0-litre turbodiesel under the hood. Two engine changes followed – a 3.0-litre Dicor in 2005, and two years later, a more efficient 2.2-litre using the same engine tech.

All this while, the design remained mostly unchanged, except for a few feature enhancements. Now, with so much action in the sub-Rs 15-lakh SUV segment, the Safari wasn’t enough to counter the fierce advances of the continuously upgraded Scorpios and even the all-new XUVs and Dusters of the world, prompting a move that would encompass a full change.

However, Tata didn’t start with a clean slate while developing the new Safari Storme. Instead, it went to the highly capable Aria, the Safari’s relatively more modern crossover sibling, whose platform could easily be modified to strap on the new Safari body. So the frame, albeit a bit shortened, suspension bits and steering have all been carried over from the Aria.