There have been lot of rumours floating in the internet for quite some time about Tata Motors coming out with a new face lifted version of its SUV, the Safari. Now according to recent media reports, the rumour turns out to be true. Code named the Merlin, the company is indeed working on the facelifted version of the Safari and plans to launch it very soon in the Indian market probably by next year. The Merlin would be the most thorough update brought out by the company for this vehicle since it was launched in 1998. The significant changes brought into the vehicle include the front fascia, interiors and the rear end.
The front fascia sport a more aggressive stance now with a square spaced grille and a pronounced chin with a lip under the bonnet. It also gets projector headlights. The exhausts at the rear get chrome tipped finish. The interiors sport a good amount of wooden finish giving it a much more upmarket feel. The gear lever, on the other hand seems to have undergone no visual change whatsoever. The standard 4 spoke steering wheel can also be seen used in the vehicle which is although devoid of any audio controls. The car is going to be powered by the same 2.2 litre DICOR engine used in the current Safari which churns out 140 BHP of power. One of the major changes to the Merlin is the platform. The new Safari Merlin shares the X2 platform of the Tata Aria but it is shortenred by a small amount. The shortening of the wheelbase is bound to increase the car’s handling characteristics. The expected price is going to be around Rs. 11 lakhs.
Source – Autocar India