Tata Motors confirmed just yesterday that the Tata Safari is about to make a comeback. But the path they chose to make it happen did raise a lot of eyebrows. Remember the Tata Gravitas that we first saw at the 2020 Auto Expo in February last year? The seven-seat version of the Tata Harrier is set to carry the name Tata Safari as Tata Motors will be opening bookings for it soon and so, we can expect a launch to take place this month.
So, here’s the thing. Tata Safari has enjoyed a legacy, a fan following for decades and it is great news that it is making a comeback. However, it is not a result of the super-quick development of a new-generation Safari but placing the nameplate on a product Tata Motors had been looking to launch since after rolling out the Tata Harrier in 2019.
Will bringing the name back on an all-new SUV help with its sales as it would ride on the ‘Safari’ moniker’s legacy or will it be denounced by buyers for the simple fact that it isn’t really a Safari?
Do you think renaming the Gravitas to SAFARI has diluted the latter's brand name?
— FinancialXpress (@FinancialXpress) January 6, 2021
We conducted a small survey on Twitter asking people if they think ‘renaming the Gravitas to SAFARI has diluted the latter’s brand name?’ A majority of the respondents voted yes at 39.1 percent, while 32.2 percent believe it won’t matter, only 13 percent say it could matter, and 15.7 percent aren’t worried about the outcome at all.
With nearly 40 percent of the respondents voting for ‘Yes’ they believe renaming Gravitas to Safari reduces on the good ol’ Safari’s charm, it is evident that Tata Safari fans and enthusiasts will find a niggle with a new SUV taking its place. That said, it seems likely that the decision to rebadge the Gravitas as the Safari might work in the short term bringing some good numbers to the sales books.
Tata Safari will be built on the new OMEGARC platform and stands to get a slightly different styling than the Harrier. It will likely be powered by the same engine as well – 2.0-litre turbo diesel from the Harrier that makes 170 hp and 350 Nm, available with a six-speed manual or automatic. However, there could also be a new turbo petrol engine paired with a DCT. On the inside, we expect some neat features like wireless charging, powered seats, and more.
Will the Tata Gravitas make a good Tata Safari then? Tata Motors’ only candidate in the SUV segment currently is the Tata Harrier which does not sport a 4X4 and the Tata Gravitas (now called Tata Safari) may follow on the same lines and if Tata Motors chooses not to offer a 4X4 in the new Gravitas/Safari, it wouldn’t echo the ‘go-anywhere’ attitude that the old Safari boasted. Moreover, the Harrier owing to its Land Rover-derived monocoque chassis is a comparatively expensive deal and perhaps the Gravitas (now Safari) will be even more so.
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