Tata Safari has been a hot favourite for many in the country, which has developed a strong liking for SUVs. And why not, our roads aren't very good and an SUV offers a lot of space too. The Safari will now be more than a passenger car as Tata Motors has outrun Mahindra and Nissan, bagging the contract for supplying the Indian Army with vehicles. Tata Motors has signed a contract with the Indian Army for supplying 3,192 Safari Storme cars under a new category, GS800 or General Service 800. Now, Cartoq has posted images of what appears to be is an Army-spec Safari Storme. The Ministry of Defence had raised an RFP (Request For Proposal) with three parameters, a payload capacity of 800 kg, hard roof and air conditioning. The cars that were considered under this proposal were the Safari Storme and the Mahindra Scorpio, both with all-wheel-drive capabilities. After the approval of this contract, Tata Motors has become the leading supplier of defence vehicles to the Indian Armed Forces. In addition to the Safari Storme, the company also supplies vehicles in the medium and heavy categories as well. The Safari replaces the Maruti Suzuki Gypsy, previously used by the Army.
Based on the images, it is known that the Army-spec Storme will have heavy-duty steel wheels. Also, the exterior bodywork which was placed purely for looks has been removed. Other changes are likely to include a pintle hook at the rear, a radio antenna on the bonnet and a fuel carrier attached to the body.
Powering the Tata Safari Storme is a 2.2-litre diesel engine which generates 154 hp of power and 400 Nm of torque. This motor is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission with ESOF (Electronic Shift On the Fly) capability which enables the driver of the Safari Storme to change from a two-wheel drive to all-wheel-drive at the twist of a switch.
Since 1958, Tata Motors has been one of the key suppliers to the Indian Army with 15 lakh vehicles supplied so far. The medium and heavy category defence vehicles supplied by Tata Motors caters to logistic, tactical, armoured and specialist vehicles.