Tata Motors launched the 2021 Safari last month. Safari is the new flagship for the homegrown manufacturer. The new Safari is all-new from the ground-up. Only a few design elements are shared with the previous Safari Storme such as a stepped-roof. However, the new Safari is now more premium and less rugged when compared to the Safari Storme. While the Safari nameplate has always been known for its capability and ruggedness, the new Safari is more of a soft roader than a hard-core SUV. The new one is based on a monocoque chassis (great for on road driving) instead of a ladder-frame chassis (generally better for off roading) and more importantly, the new one does not offer all-wheel-drive (a big miss for SUV purists). Here is a video uploaded by All in One Entertainment on their YouTube channel, which showcases the all-new Tata Safari trying to take on a steep uphill obstacle, and failing.
On the first try, the SUV tries at a slow speed and loses traction midway due to which it rolls back. On the second try, the SUV comes with a bit of force and manages to almost reach the top of the hill, but as soon as it reaches the top, it again loses traction and rolls back. The third time driver manages to reach the top but soon after the front wheels cross, the SUV beaches with a thud and starts scraping its underbelly. The vehicle stalls, then and the driver starts the engine and gently rolls back.
There are a couple of key reasons why the all-new Safari did not make it past the climb.
- The 2021 Safari does not come with a 4×4 powertrain. The SUV is now only offered in a front-wheel-drive configuration which is not ideal for off-roading. If Tata had offered a 4×4 variant, the climb would have been a lot easier for the SUV. This is because a 4 wheel drive layout will allow power to be transferred to all four wheels, and as a consequence, the probability of finding traction is much higher. Also, intelligent 4×4 systems usually transfer power to the wheels which have most of the grip available at a particular point in time.
- Despite having a good ground clearance, the Safari beached and started scraping its underbelly. This happened because of the SUV having a long wheelbase. While a long wheelbase helps to maximize interior room and high speed stability (read great for highway cruising), it serves as a limitation off the road. In this case, the front wheels of the Safari crested the hill, but before the rear wheels could make it across, the underbody scraped thanks to the long wheelbase (which translates into a smaller breakover angle).
The all-new Safari comes with a 2.0-litre Kyrotec diesel engine that is also doing duty on the Harrier. The engine produces a max power output of 170 PS of max power and a peak torque output of 350 Nm. It is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox which only transfers the power to the front wheels. The higher variants also come with a terrain response system. There are three modes on offer, namely Normal, Rough and Wet. The Safari is offered in six variants, namely XE, XM, XT, XT+, XZ, and XZ+. It starts from Rs. 14.69 lakh ex-showroom and go upto Rs 21.45 lakhs ex-showroom. It is going against the MG Hector Plus, the upcoming Hyundai Alcazar and the upcoming Mahindra 2021 XUV500.