Every time I see a Tata Safari on the roads, it reminds me of a massive adventure which Bijoy had with it. So massive and so adventurous that nobody whom I know has done it since (I know quite a few people, okay?).
Regular BSM readers would remember that in 1998, he drove a Safari – hold your breath – from London to Cape Town. For the geographically challenged, the drive from ol’Blighty to the tip of the huge continent of Africa covered over 19,000 km and 24 countries across 42 days. And as you all know, he has lived to tell the tale. And so did car no A54.
I remember him telling me that the one thing he wanted in the Safari was more oomph from the engine, something he sorely missed when being overtaken by vintage V8-powered Allards and classic Rollers on the autobahns. Accepted that the poor rally Safari was heavily loaded to the gills; even then, that 90 bhp/19 kgm turbodiesel really had to work for its life.
Now, after seven full years, the Safari finally gets a turbodiesel that befits an SUV like it. An engine that perhaps Bijoy would have been happy with in the London-Cape Town 4x4 Adventure Drive. That’s because the new Tata Safari Dicor is powered by a 3000cc inline-four that develops 114 bhp at 3000 revs and over 30 kgm of torque between 1600 and 2000 rpm. Yes, I’m just coming to that: Dicor is Tataspeak for common-rail direct injection technology, just like Hyundai’s CRDi and Mahindra’s CRDe. Which means, the Dicor stickers notwithstanding, the Safari now not just conforms to emission standards, it’s more powerful, torquey and fuel-efficient too. Just as well.