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Old 26th September 2011, 16:40   #901
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Default re: Tata Merlin - Safari replacement? *UPDATE* Uncovered Pics on Pg 90

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Originally Posted by directinjection View Post
TML never launches its cars at the Auto Expo. It only unveils them there. Launch (if it takes place) follows later, usually after a year or so.

Yep for tata Auto Expo is just the Display showcase, the launch is normally in Oct/ Nov period just before Diwali. We need to what that period this year as well, maybe they are waiting for the XUV500 to come in first and then decide on their stategy and positioning rather than being caught off guard even if XUV is from a higher segment. If XUV500 is priced too low then TATA will have to rethink on their launch so lets see.
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Old 26th September 2011, 17:27   #902
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Default re: Tata Merlin - Safari replacement? *UPDATE* Uncovered Pics on Pg 90

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.., maybe they are waiting for the XUV500 to come in first and then decide on their stategy and positioning rather than being caught off guard even if XUV is from a higher segment.
Dont think that will be the case. Positioning & pricing is too critical an aspect to be decided in a reactionary way. Also, they would possibly have atleast indicative info about the XUV500's positioning.

Looking at the latest pics of the XUV500, it does not look like these two are going to compete with each other. The XUV500 (even as the W201) was all new build, but the Merlin was more like a up-grade. I dont think TML will pitch an upgrade against an all-new model. It would be a near fatal mistake, esp in this case.
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Old 26th September 2011, 17:39   #903
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Default re: Tata Merlin - Safari replacement? *UPDATE* Uncovered Pics on Pg 90

I wish i could've given it all before, but since its so close to launch, here's my 2 bit:

1) Spanking new Mechs: Rack and pinion steering, front wishbones, frt ARB, Rear Springs, Rear ARB, Rear Axle ratio, deletion of Torsion bar, yes 8.1 ABS, aria derived hydroformed chassis, fuel tank layout (to accommodate rear spare wheel) hence diff weight distribution, rear discs. 17inch rims on top end. sorry no upgrade on engine, but driveabilty has gone up by miles! purely thanks to the MK2 gearbox and gear shifter improvements. Super light clutch.

Result: Crazily improved handling (not ride which is marginally stiffer and not hovercraftish like in current gen) ->lock to lock maneuvering was a revelation i just couldn't get over, owing to rack n pinion power steering. Cornering is taught! aah! Current gen safari owners just need a 60sec test drive to be bowled over! Front wishbones have far less travel to their bumpstop, so don't expect this SUV to go banzai over ditches (like the legendary old one) ->IMHO, a move taken after much discussion at ERC and marketing. This car is going to be a soft-roader! moving with the times i zay!

2) Interiors: one line- dash looks like a mish mash! ("hmm, should we go Merc or should we go Landie") reminded me of the W203 C-class, Top centre lid, new glovebox, new mechatronic HVAC controls, new Steering column + pad, new combi sticks, new dials, but wait, NO LCD provision in this segment!!, cruise control, short gear throws, door pads-all new and may i say better design! same super luxury space, super soft sink into sand sofas for rear seats!! Thankfully integrated roof ac, moulded roof with hugely improved roof lining material but choice of roof buttons, er em!!! Still retaining the pain-in-the-gluts jump seats. hmm, how sweet no? they didnt forget the bodyguards that usually accompany safari owners!

Result: i had my reasons for headaches, but id reserve them as of now as production batches-HOPEFULLY- have better quality

3) Exteriors: Biggest disappointment! would stand in front of merlins and spend innumerable minutes daily to see the 'good' part of the design. each time thinking, 'cmon, its been designed in UK for chrissake, where they designed the rather nice manza' sorry, but didn't see it. (Why Tata? Why?)Door handles will remain as u see, but of course body colored, they have new lever mechanism which i woudn't want to reveal but makes opening much softer. tailgate is swing type. period.

Result: good, but in 1994.

4)My opinion: sorry. but cant see it working nos.

Note: would love to share all pix with you alll, after seeing so much interest! but i cant betray ex-company code of conduct

p.s-that aint a dealership..its taken in the factory premises in pune! some mole!

Last edited by benbsb29 : 27th September 2011 at 11:25. Reason: Corrected post for SMS lingo. Please avoid usage of SMS lingo when posting in future.
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Old 26th September 2011, 18:35   #904
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Default re: Tata Merlin - Safari replacement? *UPDATE* Uncovered Pics on Pg 90

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Originally Posted by Pal View Post
I wish i couldve given it all before, but since its so close to launch, here's my 2 bit:
Wow! That was your first post? If what you are saying is correct, it would surely dilute the character of Safari, especially the Softroader stuff! Has the turning radius improved?

Last edited by Eddy : 26th September 2011 at 20:32. Reason: Pls do not quote an entire long post.
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Old 26th September 2011, 20:10   #905
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Default re: Tata Merlin - Safari replacement? *UPDATE* Uncovered Pics on Pg 90

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Originally Posted by Pal View Post
I wish i couldve given it all before, but since its so close to launch, here's my 2 bit:
When you say it is so close to launch, when is the launch?? Also when you say it will be a softroader, most SUVs (proper ones) have a live front axle, and the Thar has a double-wishbone, so is the only drawback with this one the short travel?

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Originally Posted by Pal View Post
Result: good, but in 1994.
4)My opinion: sorry. bt cant see it working nos.
What exactly is wrong with it? Quality? Fit/Finish issues or Design issues? If it is the latter, and the quality is up to current (other manufacturers) standards, then I don't really care too much

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Originally Posted by cediafan View Post
Wow! That was your first post? If what you are saying is correct, it would surely dilute the character of Safari, especially the Softroader stuff! Has the turning radius improved?
Seriously. Awesome first post! And yes, I want to know that too - Has the turning radius reduced?
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Old 26th September 2011, 21:06   #906
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Default re: Tata Merlin - Safari replacement? *UPDATE* Uncovered Pics on Pg 90

Cracking first post!
Thanks Pal for sharing such a critical information.
Hello Everyone. It is my first post too.Been & addicted to tbhp all these years,though mostly passively.
I am contemplating a safari LX buy this week and confused on Merlin launch as every one .
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Old 26th September 2011, 21:59   #907
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Default re: Tata Merlin - Safari replacement? *UPDATE* Uncovered Pics on Pg 90

@ Pal,

Thanks for the info, hoping most of what you said comes out true!! The looks I am not worried about as its subjective especially in India.

So they have made this a better drivers car albeit at the expense of its off-roading potential. Its a drawback for Safari fans but should help in the mainstream market. Its got ABS which is a positive but any news on Airbags?! Also what are those things that bulge out on either top rear ends of the Merlin?

So the positives are:
  • Far better handling and driveability
  • ABS present with rear discs
  • New better interiors, integrated rear AC vents
  • Aria chassis
The final question is going to how much will Tata price it?!
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Old 26th September 2011, 22:22   #908
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Originally Posted by shortbread
@ Pal,

Thanks for the info, hoping most of what you said comes out true!! The looks I am not worried about as its subjective especially in India.

So they have made this a better drivers car albeit at the expense of its off-roading potential. Its a drawback for Safari fans but should help in the mainstream market. Its got ABS which is a positive but any news on Airbags?! Also what are those things that bulge out on either top rear ends of the Merlin?

So the positives are:
[*]Far better handling and driveability[*]ABS present with rear discs[*]New better interiors, integrated rear AC vents[*]Aria chassisThe final question is going to how much will Tata price it?!
Thank pal for clearing much speculation about the merlin. Along with other things could you please confirm that the merlin retains or looses the low ratio gear box. Wether this update results in, mermaids or melons for the tata' s remains to be seen. In the current avatar the safari 4 * 4 is a very capable all round car that can actually take you off road. I sense a wait and watch strategy on part of the company here, kind off gauge the response the xuv gets from the Indian diaspora. The future of the New safari, product refinement and such will depend to a certain extent on how well the xuv is received.

The safari has created a niche for itself and with the knowledge that the indian boffins at tata have now I expect the new avatar of safari to be miles ahead of what it is now, and Yet not sacrifice the capability of this vehicle.
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Old 26th September 2011, 22:25   #909
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Default re: Tata Merlin - Safari replacement? *UPDATE* Uncovered Pics on Pg 90

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Originally Posted by VeluM View Post
Merlin can't be feminine because Merlin was never a female name. History on the most famous Merlin, a Wizard in the days of King Arthur, can be found here:

Merlin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Most famous one is Merlin Monroe, But officially it is written as Marilyn Monroe, but pronounced as Merlin.
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Old 26th September 2011, 22:38   #910
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Default re: Tata Merlin - Safari replacement? *UPDATE* Uncovered Pics on Pg 90

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Originally Posted by Pal View Post

Note: would love to share all pix with ul, after seeing so much interest! but i cnt betray ex-company code of conduct

p.s-that aint a dealership..its taken in the factory premises in pune! some mole!
Just saw your public profile, so finally someone here from TATA to answer long awaited queries about The Merlin.

What a start, Thanks for your 1st elaborate post.

Keep them coming

Thanks,
Vishal.
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Old 26th September 2011, 23:27   #911
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Default re: Tata Merlin - Safari replacement? *UPDATE* Uncovered Pics on Pg 90

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Originally Posted by Pal View Post
1) Spanking new Mechs: Rack and pinion stg, front wishbones, frt ARB, Rear Springs, Rear ARB,
Thank you Pal, for that wonderful insight into the Merlin. A lot of interesting changes to the Safari seem to have been incorporated. What remains to be seen is the reliability, quality, and the durability of the new vehicle.

By ARB do you mean ARB lockers or ARB sourced differentials?
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Old 27th September 2011, 00:13   #912
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Default re: Tata Merlin - Safari replacement? *UPDATE* Uncovered Pics on Pg 90

Can the owners of the current Safari please comment on how the new double-wishbone front suspension with reduced travel impact the off-road ability of the Merlin? Is it just the articulation or will there be GC issues?

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Originally Posted by teamveevee View Post
...but pronounced as Merlin.
Marilyn is neither pronounced nor written as Merlin.
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Old 27th September 2011, 09:31   #913
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Default re: Tata Merlin - Safari replacement? *UPDATE* Uncovered Pics on Pg 90

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pal View Post
I wish i couldve given it all before, but since its so close to launch, here's my 2 bit:
.
.
.
.
4)My opinion: sorry. bt cant see it working nos.

Note: would love to share all pix with ul, after seeing so much interest! but i cnt betray ex-company code of conduct

p.s-that aint a dealership..its taken in the factory premises in pune! some mole!
Great update.
My white elephant is getting old, and after couple of years, when I replace it I will be looking at a similar priced vehicle, and maybe Merlin it will be(if none of the usual gremlins surface).
That said, you gave a lot of info about new this and new that, can you share something about the quality of components.
For example, have they done anything about the power windows so that they do not keep jamming?
Or fixed the silly cladding so that it does not fall of the moment you whisper the word offroad.
And let me not forget the rear LSD, a problem point in most 4x4 safaris

I presume ECU and Rail issues would have been sorted out.
And since you say its not going to sell in number, is it because it has all the features, but they do not work, or is it because it has all the features, and costs according to those features.

That said I am happy to know about steering change. Center pin has been a source of financial woe and metal grief for lot of safari owners, and hopefully it will be fixed in this iteration(unless they create more other problems).
Are they also planning to give a 3 year 100,000kms standard warranty on the Merlin.
If they have the courage to give a 4 year 100,000kms warranty, then I will believe that they have truly worked on quality, but for now a 3 year 100,000kms warranty will do good.
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Old 27th September 2011, 09:47   #914
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Default re: Tata Merlin - Safari replacement? *UPDATE* Uncovered Pics on Pg 90

so when is this Merlin coming in?
Might be worth looking at too.
Any news on launch?
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Old 27th September 2011, 10:14   #915
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Default re: Tata Merlin - Safari replacement? *UPDATE* Uncovered Pics on Pg 90

Mr, Pal has certainly raised the temperature of the Merlin thread with his debut post.

finally someone from the T company opened up and let out some information about the Merlin.

that is some significant improvement over the current safari, but sad part is that the current safari would be discountinued after some time.(thats why the running of adverts in tv these days).

anyway i have high hopes from T company about the improved safari which they have named Merlin. as i have to buy a new SUV, T company or M&M product, i would like to see an international standard product.

good luck T company.
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