Indian Autos Blog has left no stone unturned in cracking Tata's next big launch. The Safari Merlin has featured constantly on our front page over the past year. Right from the first clear shots of the interior, close-up pictures of a skin-camouflaged mule, providing the recipe through listing changes in the car, airing multiple sets of spyshots as our readers couldn't stop spotting the mule, we've been there, done that!
Today we have a substantial development in completing the puzzle - revealing images of the next generation Tata Safari, codenamed Merlin, from Pune clicked by our friend Shatrughan Saxena. Considering the new Safari has been spied before by friend blogs and forums, this is not a groundbreaking development.
What is however is the product looks ready for an Auto Expo unveiling. New details unearthed from the spyshots such as boomerang shaped headlamps with ribbed edge, fat chrome block between the radiator grille and hood, pushed-in front fascia, circular fog lights, chromed, indicator-embedded side mirrors and side step similar to the retiring model confirm our first prediction - the makeover is along the lines of Suzuki's new Swift - from a distance it looks like a facelift though virtually everything is new.
This is likely to be communication color of the new Safari. If you remember the "Reclaim your life" ad from 2005, the car used a similar brown.
The Merlin uses the same 2.2-liter DICOR engine paired to an improved G76 MkII gearbox. Fake wood accents, new plastics and select gadgets or technology such as Bluetooth pairing and steering-mounted controls borrowed from the Aria could give the Safari a new identity.
The Tata Safari Merlin's first customers could be from the awe-struck crowd waiting outside Mahindra dealerships for a XUV500.
What are your thoughts on the Tata Safari Merlin?