The latest Safari from Tata Motors is expected to be launched in the beginning of 2012. This SUV has been codenamed as ‘Merlin‘ and is getting its most comprehensive update, since it was initially launched in 1998.
The vehicle has been given the latest projector headlights. A square shaped grille makes the vehicle have a more imposing look than it ever has had. The other major revision given to the front portion of the SUV is its pronounced chin below the bonnet.
Two exhausts that are chrome-tipped start the process of the update given to the vehicle rear. This is also accompanied with a large bar of chrome that has been provided above the vehicle number plate.
Spy pictures that have been doing the rounds show that the interiors are getting a major upheaval to suit the requirements of the up-market consumers. This includes giving the vehicle a new fascia and a completely modified dash. A huge sprinkling of ‘plastic wood’ seems to have been given to the dash.
Changes to the dials have been restricted to the minimum, it still continues with the trend of white numbers exhibited over the black background. However, the air-con dials, with circular shape, does carry a lot of attraction. The steering wheel with four spokes, typical to Tata vehicles, has been retained. But, the audio controls have not been mounted over the steering wheel.
However, the most significant change that the new Tata Safari is going to adopt is the fact that it will now adopt the latest X2 platform that is being used by the Tata Aria. The platform has been shortened to cope with the 2650mm wheelbase of the Tata Safari and is expected to significantly improve the riding as well as the handling characteristics of the SUV. The new Tata Safari is also going to be provided with twin exhausts in similar lines to that of the Aria. The new Safari has retained its engine the 2.2 L DICOR, but it is expected to function in a more refined manner. Peak power that this engine is going to generate will be to the tune of 140BHp.
Though nothing has been declared as on date about the pricing of the vehicle, however the new Tata Safari is expected to be offered at around Rs.11 lakh.