Upcoming Tata Safari Storme to compete against XUV500 and compact SUVs
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The rumour mill is abuzz with Tata Motors, the South-Asia's leading automotive manufacturer, plans of introducing its Safari Storme Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) in the Indian market. Termed as one of the most anticipated cars of the year, Safari Storme will be pitched against the Mahindra XUV500, upon its arrival. The company has not disclosed any reasons for the delay in launch of the car but given the close proximity of festival season, Indian buyers may just see the launch of Safari Storme soon. Tata Motors had showcased the car at the 2012 Auto Expo held in New Delhi in January 2012.
The 2012 Tata Safari Storme is a revamped version of the current generation Safari SUV and the Indian auto maker has enforced some attention grabbing additions to the car. Among the upcoming car's gamut of catchy features, its huge honeycomb grille and 'power bulge' on the bonnet score the maximum points. The Safari Storme SUV flaunts projector headlamps, chrome-plated twin exhausts and a brand new tailgate among others.
Reportedly, the chassis and suspension of Safari Storme will be built on the same platform of Aria crossover, which will ensure that the yet-to-be launched SUV boasts of smooth driving and easy handling. Additionally, the powertrain incorporated in Safari Storme is expected to be of the same kind that is installed in Aria, a 2.2-litre DiCOR diesel engine that churns out a peak power-torque output of 140 bhp and 320 Nm, respectively. It is anticipated that the power-mill may be mated with a five-speed manual transmission system, which will provide the Safari Storme with enhanced driving ergonomics. Further, the car is also expected to have all the trimmings of a premium SUV, including all round disc brakes and Anti-lock Braking System (ABS).
The upcoming Safari Storme appears as well thought manoeuvre by the company towards establishing its presence in the SUV market. Its direct rival comes from the stable of Mahindra and Mahindra, the XUV500 SUV, which has overshadowed all other products in the segment. The XUV500 features a 2.2-litre mHawk diesel engine that rolls out power of 140 bhp at just 3750 rpm and maximum torque of 330 Nm at as low as 1600-2800 rpm. The low rpm power-torque outputs give the car a bullish ability to take on any SUV in the market. It will be interesting to draw a comparison between XUV500 and the upcoming Safari Storme with Indian SUV aficionados holding their breaths with enthusiasm.
From the first pictures of 2012 Safari Storme, it is suggested that the car boasts of capacious cabin space, high quality leather trimmed upholstery seats complementing the leather steering wheel and wood finished dashboard and doors. At the Auto Expo, the interiors appeared refined and more luxurious than the current Safari. Further, the car can seat seven passengers including the driver comfortably. The XUV500 has a slight advantage in this regard with its interior being one of its many strong suits.
The pricing will be a dominant factor in deciding the future of Safari Storme on Indian turf. Industry experts believe that Tata Motors will have to come up with some extraordinary strategy to ensure that its upcoming car is neither too pricey nor too flat. The current market scenario seems inclined towards Utility Vehicles (UV) including compact SUVs due to the subsidised diesel fuel options. The 2012 Safari Storme will have to fight with not only Mahindra XUV500 but also with rivals like Mahindra Scorpio, Renault Duster and the Chevrolet Tavera, among others.
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