The Tata Safari Storme is due for a facelift, and an uncamouflaged version of the facelifted SUV has already been spotted on the streets of Pune, a city whose suburb Pimpri, hosts Tata Motors’ Engineering Research Center as well as the factory that turns out utility vehicles.
The spotting of the uncamouflaged version of the facelifted Storme indicates that the launch is just around the corner, in tune with expectations. The SUV will gain minor cosmetic changes on the outside that includes a re-profiled front bumper and a new honeycomb grille that seems like a Land Rover rip-off.
Some additional chrome could also form a part of the SUV’s nip and tuck job. On the inside, the changes are expected to be more substantial. The lack of a flush fitting infotainment unit is a sore point of the current Safari Storme, and that the facelift is expected to remedy with a Harman touchscreen infotainment Double-Din unit.
The spotter of the uncamouflaged Safari Storme Facelift has revealed that the test mule used a smaller steering unit borrowed from the Zest compact sedan, another pointer that suggests the new infotainment system that pairs with steering mounted audio controls.
Although three front facing rows of seats would be a nice addition, none of the test mules have revealed this feature, with the twin jump seats remaining in place. Under the hood, the 2.2 liter VariCOR turbo diesel motor is expected to gain power, with output revised to 148 Bhp, from the current 140 Bhp. Torque however, could stay put at 320 Nm.
A five speed manual gearbox will be retained, with a rear wheel drive layout as standard. A Borg Warner four wheel drive mechanism with a shift-on-the-fly option will be offered on select variants. In the next one year or so, the Storme could also gain a 6 speed automatic transmission, a feature that the Aria crossover will first gain.
Tata Motors will do well to give the facelifted Storme a variant rejig, taking cue from arch-rival Mahindra, whose Scorpio Facelift is now available with a raft of attractive new variants. Adding a four wheel drive system to the more basic EX variant of the Storme, along with ABD and Airbags could drive buyers towards the Tata SUV.
Spyshots courtesy Team-BHP