Published On: Fri, Nov 30th, 2012

Tata Safari Storme

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IMG_4175 (Copy) The history of Indian motoring can be classified as the “B.S period” (no pun intended there), and the “A.S period”; the S in the equation of course meaning “Safari”. Such was the impression it created on our roads when it came out. It was in 1998 that India proudly unveiled her home grown SUV for the first time ever under the Tata badge. Everything else, every single home bred SUV we see today followed suit. Safari may have enjoyed monopoly back in the days, but that isn’t quite the case today. The competition is stiff, but the Storme takes our market by uhm, quite the Storm. Never in the 14 years since its inception have we witnessed such radical improvements to Safari. The rugged looks seep well into performance as well. Take the new age hydroformed members used in chassis construction for example. What this has done, is put the Storme on a diet and reduced its kerb weight by some 75 whopping kilograms
INTERIOR

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The Safari fan base will not be awfully disappointed with the sheer looks of Storme. It does carry a lot of its predecessors’ pedigree. Although the bulges and ludicrous ruggedness may look like a daring attempt from Tata, it’s only fair to say that from some angles, you can expect rather mixed reviews to say the least. What we suggest you do is, rather than going with picture releases that may have come out from various sources, wait till the real deal hits our roads to have a look at it yourselves. Trust me, this is a car that looks far from shabby. In the front are a new grill, new projector headlamps and a ‘power bulge’ on the bonnet. New chrome-tipped twin exhausts, the tailgate in an all-new guise and aerodynamic spoilers distinguish the rear, with the spare tyre placed under the vehicle. Freshly designed roof-rails, ergonomically designed side footsteps and cladding mark the side view, completing a sportier and muscular look with a hint of the Safari Storme’s adventurous character.

What this means is that from the front you have a more “aerodynamic” feel to the car. The rear however disappoints a little. You sort of get the feeling that the design has gotten a little non-SUV-ee there. You can’t shake away that uncanny feeling of Aria-ness about this vehicle. But hey! It has been designed around the same framework as Aria. We love that.

Interior The interior is properly Aria. Of course, that was the favourite bit we had in the Aria, so we are quite excited about it coming to a Safari. Gives the car a whole new opera remixed in death metal sort of appeal. Luxurious beige seats matched with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, chrome highlighted gear knob, wood-accented dashboard and door trims, a new instrument cluster, chrome-lined speaker grills and inside door handles endow the interiors with opulence. The front seats with fore and aft adjustment and lumbar support make long drives a cruise, while the dual AC with separate integrated roof-mounted blower keeps the entire cabin ambient.

 

ENGINE

The powerhouse of the Safari Storme is in its 2.2L 16-valve common rail (DiCOR) engine (140 PS power; 320 Nm torque) with a variable geometry turbo, mated with a 5-speed manual transmission just as you find in yes, you guessed it, the Aria. Electronic shift-on-the-fly (ESOF) enables shifting from 2WD to 4WD even on the move. Featuring an excellent turning radius of 5.4 metres and 200 mm ground clearance you can easily tell this machine is made for dirt and road alike. It even features a 4-channel ABS with EBD, disc brakes on all wheels, a new rack-and-pinion steering system and rigid ladder frame construction. 

 

DRIVE

The new Storme has really stepped up to the beat when it comes to driving and handling arena. This very factor is what sets Storme at par or miles ahead of any competition it has in the market. Even if you are one of those sceptics who failed to appreciate the exteriors of this vehicle, get ready for a paradigm shift when you have a go at this car yourself. From the inside, when on the move, this car can offer you as much ease of handling as probably a Manza does, if not better. The suspension is to be given due credit for being such an excellent mark of quality. 

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  1. Prasobh Reji says:

    Safari is always the favourite SUV for many. It gives the commanding driving position. It goes any where. Storme – The new avatar is a great improvement over the previous gen Safari. The build quality has increased considerably but there is far more way to go. The interior plastic quality has been improved and the overall ride quality is a lot more improved. The new chasis has given add ons to the handling of Storme. The styling resembles the Range Rover series when viewd from the front end but the rear portion is a bit disappointing. Since, the spare wheel has gone under the body, it lost its muscularity from the rear. Orelse, the Storme is a great SUV.

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