Come 2012, Tata will launch an upgraded Safari in the Indian market. Just days ago, we learnt that the Merlin name was more of a codename for the refreshed Safari project and that Tata Motors could settle on the Safari storm moniker for the new Safari, making us wonder whether the existing Safari would continue to sell as a cut price variant. In the past, we’ve seen this happen in many cases like the Ford Fiesta staying on as the Classic when the all new Fiesta arrived and the Tata Indica continuing to do duty with the Vista being positioned as a more upmarket variant.
From the images our friends at GoaOnWheels are carrying of the Safari Storm, it is evident that the SUV that is being seen in the images will be what the final production version will look like. While the Safari Storm will get a new dashboard and interiors, the rear end will dump the spare wheel from the tailgate. Instead, it seems like the spare wheel will find a place inside the car, under the boot. Tata has gone this way in the past with the Aria and the Safari Storm will follow in this direction. The rear hatch lid gets a chrome strip running across its breadth while a fiber insert, a-la-Indica Vista is another new visual element.
Other details like twin exhaust, new tail lamps and a more curvier profile are things that we’ve already been witness to courtesy the numerous spyshots of the Safari Storm that have been surfacing on the interweb at regular intervals. All in all, the Safari Storm still manages to retain the now iconic Safari silhouette although the front end also sees a big change with new headlamps, a chrome strip on the bonnet and a new grille apart from new bumpers and a bonnet. The engine will remain the same 2.2 Liter DICOR turbo diesel unit. The 2012 Tata Safari Storm will be showcased at the upcoming 2012 Indian Auto Expo.