Indian Army men will soon be seen riding Tata Safari Storme and Mahindra Scorpio

Indian Army men will soon be seen riding Tata Safari Storme and Mahindra Scorpio
author image Roger Dsouza
Friday 23 January 2015, 13:02 PM

The 2 cars, Tata Safari Storme and Mahindra Scorpio, have achieved a feat not many cars have. These two cars have passed a number of tests that were conducted by the Indian Army, and are now an option for the tenders to come. The Army, which until now, was heavily dependent on cars like Maruti gypsy and Mahindra Commando, asked various companies to send in their upgraded models for testing. Around 15 companies, including Toyota, Hyundai and even Ford had given their top-notch army-class vehicles for testing, while the Army then shortlisted Tata and Mahindra, as they deemed fit. The army had invited the companies to deliver a special class of vehicles, GS800, aka General Service 800.

Tata Safari Storme

The Army requires cars that have a payload of 800 kg, along with air conditioning and a heavy top. Up until now, they were surviving on the GS500 vehicles, which could just carry half a ton. This move was predicted by many auto makers because it had now become general knowledge that the Army was slowly phasing out the aged Gypsy because of the change in the norms and regulations.

The tender details are yet awaited, but the rumor mill suggests that one of the companies could end up with a tender of 3200 cars, tallying an amount anywhere between Rs. 500 crore to Rs. 750 crore. The Indian makers had submitted their cars almost three years back, along with the other companies. These cars went through rigorous training, under different weather conditions and on different terrains.

Mahindra Scorpio

The tedious trials also included many technical and maintenance tests for both, the Safari Storme as well as Scorpio. What is very obvious that these SUVs won't be the same as they are on the road. The SUVs will be modified slightly, such as blacked out lights along with convoy lamps, as well as a provision for water and ammunition with hooks at the rear for the towing of military equipment. The Army is soon expected to invite tenders for the 3200 cars its requires in the first year alone.

Such a bulk order is potentially viable as well as profitable for the Safari Storme as the sales of the car are almost stagnant and very limited when compared to that of the Scorpio. Scorpio has always been a classic, when it comes to SUVs, and much of Mahindra’s fame because it is counted among one of the most successful SUVs in the country. Under the hood of the Storme is a 2.2-litre VariCOR turbo diesel engine that produces 320 Nm and 140 PS. The Scorpio, on the other hand, is powered by a 2.2-litre mHawk diesel engine that provides 120 PS and 280 NM. Both of these SUVs have a 4x4 system that helps it guide through off-road areas without any hiccup. Interestingly, Tata had also displayed the GS800 version of the Storme at the 2012 Defence Expo.

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