2011 Tata Safari Merlin Review
Indian auto giant, Tata Motors is gearing towards the launch of Merlin, the much-awaited brand new replacement for the long established Tata Safari. The next generation version of Tata Safari, the sturdy sports utility vehicle (SUV) by Tata Motors, is expected to be unveiled by the second quarter of 2011.
If speculations are to be believed, 2012 Tata Safari Merlin will be unwrapped in October.
Initially named as ‘Safari Eighteen’, when Tata initiated the mission in 2007, the project was delayed due to the Jaguar-Land Rover (JLR) takeover. The name signifies 18 months – the preliminary deadline fixed for project completion. The prolonged delay has stirred a lot of speculations regarding cosmetic revamps and revisions and the overall design of Merlin.
According to sources, the new 2012 Tata Merlin will be sporting similar features as that of Tata Aria. The new face of Tata Safari will be outfitted with sophisticated safety features, for instance Electronic Stability Program (ESP), side airbags and traction control.
Design Overview of 2012 Tata Safari Merlin
Even though it is rumored that the new Safari is designed based on the Aria platform, Tata has successfully managed to keep the design of Merlin a big suspense. To be launched as the new entry level SUV, the design of Merlin seems to be motivated by Land Rover.
Though not so impressive, the front section of Merlin sports a neat look. The chrome grille features the symbol of Tata and flaunts dominant HID XenonHeadlights. The rear portion of Merlin shares some similarity with Tata Sumo sporting a boxy appearance. The standby wheel will be sheltered under the body revealing a naked butt, which is an obvious difference from the previous Tata Safari models. Redesigned tail lights also enhance the look of new Merlin.
The dashboard console apparently flaunts blue illumination making a noticeable distinction from the older models. A faux wood panel is located adjoining the instrument panel, and the AC vent is similar to that of Vista and the Aria. The steering and suspension systems have undergone some modifications to offer enhanced driving experience in city traffic.
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The lavish interiors sport comfortable seating options. Improved quality plastics are used throughout offering a neat look. Though, many details cannot be revealed regarding the interior of the new refreshed version of Tata Safari, we can expect something better than that of Aria.
Tata Safari Merlin Technical Specifications
The 2012 Safari Merlin will be powered by an improved 2.2L DICOR. It will make use of a dual mass fly-wheel in order to ensure minimum levels of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). Low-friction bearings and enhanced gear box also add to the smooth driving experience.
According to some sources, there are speculations that Tata has plans to launch a 3.0L variant of the new Merlin. The new SUV is engineered to produce the upper limit power of 140 PS at 4000 RPM and the climax torque of 320 nautical miles.
The 2012 Safari Merlin is expected to be priced between INR 11-15 lakhs. The main objective of Tata Motors in delivering Tata Safari Merlin is to create an SUV that can be a middle path between Tata Aria and Tata Safari.
Photo Credit: Motoroids.com