For the first time, the undisguised images of the new Tata Safari Merlin are out in the open. While the earlier picture which revealed the rear three quarters’ view of the car suggested a striking similarity with design and body of the current generation car, the front view too is clearly reminiscent of the current gen model. Now, a forum member from TheAutomotiveIndia.com has spotted an uncovered Merlin in a parking lot.
The Tata Safari Merlin or just Tata Merlin will be positioned above the Safari but below the Tata Aria. The current Safari will continue to sell as it is, while the Merlin will be a new model. Tata Motors strategy seems a bit weird, they want to evolve new models out of nowhere, just like they did with the Indica – Vista and Indigo – Manza.
Styling seems to be heavily inspired by the big brother the Range Rover’s, but hasn’t been executed well enough. Changes too are visible though, the dual chrome plated exhaust and silver door handles. Tail lamp looks taken from Force traveller. The spare wheel on the new model has gone below the chassis leaving behind a clean tail-gate. Look at side cladding for the fuel-lid to open; did they realize it at the last moment? Lol…
Powered with the same 2.2 litre DICOR engine but will get a dual mass flywheel and a better gearbox (à la Tata Aria), the maximum power expected is 140 Bhp @ 4000 rpm and a maximum torque of about 320 Nm @ 1700 rpm. New safari seems to have a similar profile and dimensions as the old, at least on the exteriors.
The interiors and fit & finish departments are where the Merlin SUV aims to be head and shoulders above the current Safari and from what we’ve gathered, the Merlin’s interiors are expected to be as good as the Tata Aria, which is a nice thing indeed. The Merlin will be priced at least a lakh above the existing variants of the Tata Safari and will gun straight for the Mahindra XUV500.
Also see – Spied – Tata Safari Merlin Inside out!