Five things to expect in the 2021 Tata Safari
Tata Motors to unveil the 2021 Safari on January 262021 Tata Safari

Five things to expect in the 2021 Tata Safari

The Tata Safari is essentially a seven-seat iteration of the Harrier, but it does get a few upgrades over it

Tata Motors are all set to unveil the 2021 Safari (codenamed Gravitas) on January 26. As the launch date gets closer, Safari's feature list and visual differences over the Harrier, have become clearer. Here are five confirmed changes that we will see on the new Safari, and the last one might break your heart.

Visual differences

The Safari retains the same ‘Impact 2.0’ design language, although it will be longer and taller than the Harrier. This is primarily down to the non-sloping roofline, bigger tyres, roof-rails and to make space for a third row of seats.

The second difference on the Safari’s exterior is its new grille, which gets a three-pointed arrow design and it seems to be blingier than the Harrier’s grille. It also gets a redesigned bumper at the rear, with sleeker fog lamps and tail lamps.

There are also roof rails, something that was seen on previous iterations of the Safari, but we don’t know whether these are functional.

Other visual differences include a flattened boot-lid, a larger rear-quarter glass and a silver garnish uniting the (fake) twin-exhausts.

Brakes

One major chink in the Harrier’s armour was the fact that it had drum brakes at the rear, which robbed its retardation capabilities at speed. From the official images, we can spot the Safari’s disc brake setup at the rear.

Talking of braking, we spotted an electronic handbrake on Tata’s Augmented Reality experience for the Safari, which replaces the aeroplane-style handbrake lever seen on the Harrier. However, the electronic handbrake may only be for the automatic variants of the Safari.

Electronic parking brake as seen in the official AR imaginator for the Safari in an automatic variant
Electronic parking brake as seen in the official AR imaginator for the Safari in an automatic variantImage for representation purpose only

Seats

The Safari (Gravitas at the time), was pitched as a seven-seat variant of the Harrier. Now, we can confirm that the Safari will get captain seats in the second row, making it a six-seater. So, we expect it to have a seven-seat variant, with bench seats in the middle row. The upholstery on the seats seems to be a much lighter shade than the brown seen on the Harrier.

Bigger Tyres

While the images reveal that the Safari will retain the alloy wheel design from the Harrier, we suspect it to get bigger wheels. There is no official confirmation on the increased size, but the Safari’s larger footprint might make the 17s look a bit small, so it will probably get 18-inch rims.

Expect the 2021 Safari to get 18-inch rims
Expect the 2021 Safari to get 18-inch rims2021 Tata Safari

No all-wheel-drive!

Yes, we have prayed for an all-wheel-drive variant too and, as good as it would be, it is unlikely that Tata Motors would add this simply to make a halo product. Even when we consider sales numbers of the last-gen Safari, the two-wheel-drive variants accounted for more than 80 per cent of units! Putting an all-wheel-drive drivetrain also requires a transmission suited for it and reworking of the suspension to make space for the additional mechanicals, which is a serious cost. So, while we would all love an all-wheel-drive variant, it seems unlikely, and Pratap Bose all but confirmed this with his comment on our Instagram post.

We expect the Safari to be aimed squarely at customers looking toward the two-wheel-drive variants of the Toyota Fortuner. But, to take on the Fortuner, the Safari will need to undercut the Fortuner and that puts it in the Rs 22 lakh to Rs 28 lakh price bracket. We will only know for sure once Tata Motors announces prices for the Safari some time after its reveal which is set for January 26. Stay tuned to our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook handles for more updates on the Safari.

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