Tata Motors had started working on downsizing diesel engines for its SUVs soon after registration of diesel vehicles over 2000cc was banned in Delhi last year by the Supreme Court. The ban has been lifted now, but Tata Motors is not planning to ditch the project. The emerging reports indicate that a 1.9-litre diesel engine will soon join the Safari Storme range.
A report in Zigwheels claims that the downsized engine will debut early next year. The same unit will also power the Hexa SUV later next year. The report also claims that the new 1.9-litre motor will not replace the current 2.2-litre engine, but will be tuned for better fuel efficiency and power.
In December 2015, Tata Motors had launched a more powerful variant of the Safari Storme. Powered by the 2.2 litre VARICOR 400 engine, Safari Storme VX is tuned to churn out 154 bhp at 4,000 rpm and 400 Nm of torque at 1,750-2,500 rpm, mated to six-speed manual transmission. Safari Storme VX can accelerate from 0–100 kmph in less than 13 seconds and claims to deliver a fuel efficiency of 13.9 km/pl. Tata Safari LX and EX variants are powered by the same engine with toned down power of 148bhp and 320Nm of torque mated to five-speed manual transmission.
After the diesel car ban that dented sales of automakers, many companies have shifted focus to petrol powertrains. Mahindra and Mahindra had acted soon after the ban by introducing a 1.99-litre diesel engine to its best selling Scorpio and XUV500 SUVs in January. The company is also working on at least four new petrol engines. Soon, Mercedes-Benz is also expected to offer petrol engine options across its range.