Was it a mistake to discontinue Tata Safari Storme? » EngineOctane

The early 2000s saw the rise of crude, rugged bodywork on frame SUVs in India. Indigenous products like Scorpio and Safari (later Safari Storme) were some of the major key players in this segment. While Tata launched its flagship SUV, the Safari, in 1998, Mahindra got its legendary Scorpio four years later in 2002. Time flew by and both Indian cars are now presented in a very contemporary manner. Although it is a matter of time, Mahindra has kept the OG Scorpio the same under the ‘Scorpio Classic’ name, while also selling the ‘Scorpio-N’ as its more premium offering.

On the other hand, Tata has completely done away with its car based on the ‘X2 platform’ (used in the Safari Storme) and has brought in the new generation that uses a monocoque chassis setup (based on JLR’s D8 platform). Do you think discontinuing the Safari Storme was Tata’s mistake? Let’s find out.

What was the Tata Safari Storme all about?

Tata Safari StormeTata Safari Storme

Tata Safari Storme was the updated version of Safari. Launched in 2012, it was based on Tata Telcoline’s X2 (pickup truck) platform that also underpinned the Tata Hexa. This body-on-frame architecture, which was initially designed for heavy-duty hauling and commercial purposes, was modified to accommodate the Storme’s multi-link rear suspension and improved driving dynamics.

Under the hood, the Safari Storme came with a 2.2-litre direct injection common rail diesel engine mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. This configuration used to generate a power of 145 HP and 320 Nm of torque. Later in 2015, Tata updated this 2.2-litre engine with a ‘Varicor 400’ update that featured an updated turbocharger, extra stiff cylinder block, redesigned valve gear and a 6-speed manual transmission. This update resulted in an increase in power figures to 154 hp and 400 Nm of torque.

Tata Safari StormeTata Safari Storme

One thing worth mentioning is that the Safari Storme was also a worthy successor to the Maruti Gypsy as the official vehicle of the Indian Army. It outperformed its fierce rival, Mahindra Scorpio, in the army’s GS800 vehicle qualification tests and emerged victorious.

Safari Storme Rivals: Scorpio Twins

If we classify current conditions, many buyers lean towards the advantages of large SUVs. The market is also more favorable if we talk about sales of body-on-frame diesel SUVs. Mahindra saw the love for this when they debuted the Thar 2 years ago and the brands decided to sell the Scorpio Classic along with the Scorpio-N, allowing the brand to make a lot of money. Sell ​​the Scorpio Classic to the buyer who just needs the rugged ladder-frame SUV. On the other hand, the Scorpio-N is preferred by those who are willing to opt for premium features with a good 4×4 off-road setup.

Tata Safari StormeTata Safari Storme

This is exactly what Tata could have done. He could have updated the Safari Storme and kept it as a natural rival to the Scorpio Classic and placed the Safari currently on sale under a different name (possibly Gravitas), placing it as his flagship car. Although Tata had unveiled the current Safari called ‘Gravitas’ at the Auto Expo 2020, retaining the Safari Storme could have added one more car to take on the SUV maker – Mahindra.

Tata Safari StormeTata Safari Storme

Also, if we compare the Safari Storme head to head with the current Scorpio Classic, the Tata could have had an advantage with the 4×4 configuration and also with a more powerful engine. Many Scorpio-N buyers would also at least check it out. Furthermore, there is not a single doubt that the Safari was a real beast in terms of road presence, muscularity and had the much-loved Varicor 400 engine. If it could have been on sale, buying it instead of the Scorpio Classic might be sensible, TRUE? Let us know in the comments.

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