Prabu M

Passionate about writing reviews of cars, motorbikes, anything runs on wheels for turbozens.com. My love for Cars began way back in 1990s when we purchased our first car Hindustan Ambassador. Ever since i am a regular follower of news related to Auto industry. Time passed by and here i am to share some information with our readers. This blog is devoted to news, commentary and analysis of the auto industry. My other hobbies include traveling, going on long drives, watching movies and video games. Keep Reading and sure post your comments!!!

KTM 390 Duke-Ownership Review

During the middle Ages, the title “Duke” refers to the member of noble classes or the Monarch ruling a fief. In India, people are not much used to this title until few years ago, when Austria based motorcycle manufacturer KTM launched its KTM Bikes here. Bajaj autos has partnered with KTM to launch a series of KTM bikes in India. This partnership has seen a runaway success through the KTM 200 Duke and KTM 390 Duke. KTM 390 Duke was launched in India in mid 2013.

Lead up:

I have owned a Yamaha RX100, Pulsar 150 and Pulsar 200NS so far. Pleased with the performance of Pulsar motorbikes, i would call myself as a fan. Bajaj Auto owns a considerable stake in KTM, which produces KTM bikes at the Chakan unit, Pune. As per the law of natural progression I started to look for my next valuable possession which is an orange and black KTM 390 Duke.  I opted for this color scheme due to its striking attitude and eye catching graphics. And finally took delivery of the bike from Khivraj motors, Bangalore.

With the Bike:

KTM 390

 KTM 390 Duke:

If you feel that KTM 200 Duke offers you adequate power, you need to rethink because KTM 390 offers you much more. The fun of riding a KTM 390 comes from the 375 CC liquid cooled single cylinder engine. The moment you start to shift gears, you will feel the racier personality of the bike which starts to surround the rider too. KTM 390 refined 6 speed gearbox gives you a rewarding experience at higher rpm. KTM 390 develops 43bhp which gives this leaner bike a better power to weight ratio. The bike starts to give a satisfying performance starting from 5000 rpm onwards.

KTM 390

The factory fitted silencer is not an Akrapovic, but the 3 chamber silencer is well positioned near to the overall center of gravity of the bike. The exhaust note sounds music to your ears at higher power band. Catalytic converter helps in meeting the emission norms. The 11 litre fuel tank is ergonomically designed which offers a better knee contact. The front and rear disc brakes offer a better braking experience. The front disc is fitted on the left side and the rear one on the right side of the tire.

The wide rear metzeler tire offers better grip in dry and wet road conditions. The riding position is good and not compromised for its sporty stance. Even when taking long trips – given the fact that I used to do frequent weekend trips from Bangalore to Mysore on KTM 390. It’s faster as well as quicker. It’s brilliant. Now coming to factors which could have been better is its overheating and pillion seat comfort. Overheating makes me uncomfortable at times especially in bumper to bumper traffic. The Pillion seat is comfortable only if you have model type girlfriend 😉  Coming to the running costs, I am getting around a mileage of 30 km/litre.

KTM bikes

Dealership Experience:

I bought the bike from Khivraj motors in Bangalore and I am happy with the dealership experience. After sales service is good and they do it in a timely manner. So far I haven’t done any aftermarket fitments and no plans in near future too.

Bottom-line:

KTM doesn’t face much competition in this segment in India, as there are not much competitor bikes except the Royal Enfield Continental GT. KTM 390 Duke was awarded “Bloomberg TV-Autocar Bike of the Year 2014” and “2014 CNBC TV-18 Overdrive Bike of the Year”. The reason cited was its performance, ride, handling, decent fuel efficiency and a value for money (price-tag) in a winning package. I expect the KTM will sure do a good job, when they launch their much expected KTM 125 for the young, price conscious consumer segment. Among the various Bikes in India, KTM bikes standout among the crowd and it’s a sure head turner which I personally have observed many times. This bike lives truly to the KTM motto of “Ready to Race” for bike enthusiasts. I would say in one line about KTM bikes as “The Austrian prince who has won Indian bikers hearts”.

A word of caution: I would suggest my fellow bikers to wear the right gear and choose the right helmet (with proper safety ratings). Ride defensively at crowded places which will make you less vulnerable. At the same time, enjoy your driving and happy motoring.

My Dream Bike: Suzuki Hayabusa GSX1300R

Thanks to Parashuram for sharing his Ownership experience

Visit the KTM India website: http://www.ktm.com/in

Image Gallery:

Fiat Avventura – a Pre-Launch Review

I am sure there are many reasons for people to own a Ferrari car. What about the consumers who think they can’t afford one in their lifetime. The savior for them is FIAT which we call in our friend’s circles as (Ferrari In Affordable Transport), which holds major stakes in Ferrari. The awesome news is : Fiat is coming out with this fantastic sporty model, the Fiat Avventura !

Good things : Time tested 1.3 litre diesel engine, Ride and build quality, handling dynamics, Stunning Design, Stylish looks, High ground clearance

Not so good things : Resale value, Niggling issues, after sales service, spare parts availability

 

Utility Vehicles:

Sports Utility Vehicle or SUV finds big attraction with most consumers. Consumers feel that the suv size is a measure of safety since it’s larger and heavier, room for more people, carrying extra luggage, off-road purpose and their strong road presence. Driving a SUV is often associated with the idea of macho, tough and independent person. At the same time it has its drawbacks like expensive to buy, fuel guzzler, expensive to maintain, hard time in parking them in crowded places. Here comes the idea of mini-suv/compact suv/crossover, where it combines the benefits of suv and cars. This in the recent time has runaway success in India and brands like Renault duster, Ford Ecosport is perfect example. In near future Fiat India will join this club by launching its rugged outdoor styled crossover Fiat Avventura. The crossover which was unveiled at 2014 Auto Expo, Delhi.

 

Fiat India

Fiat Avventura at Auto Expo:

Specs and Features:

Fiat Avventura is based on the same platform of Fiat Punto, which will enable Fiat to share parts and components. The length of the vehicle will be within 4 meter segment to get benefits on excise duty. It will be launched in both petrol and diesel versions. Petrol versions are expected in 1.2 litre and 1.4 litre units. Diesel version is 1.3-litre multijet engine, which will deliver 93ps and 209NM of torque. It will sport the new headlight design, projector headlamps and redesigned front grille. The front grille which will also be seen in the 2014 Fiat Punto facelift. Ground clearance in Fiat Avventura is increased to 200mm and fitted with wide 225 tyres around 17 inch alloys. Spare wheel is not fitted with the hatch though it appears to be, which is fitted on a swing arm. Side profile is designed with plastic cladding on the wheel arches and door. The interior console and dashboard looks more premium with its dual tone color. The other features include steering mounted audio and call function controls, armrest for driver, rear AC vents, power windows, power steering and vanity mirrors. The safety aspects include dual airbags, engine immobilizer and Anti-locking braking system (ABS) with electronic brake distribution (EBD). Front wheels will be equipped with ventilated disc brakes and rear wheels with drum brakes. Considering the off road nature of the vehicle Fiat Avventura is fitted with roof rails, navigation system etc.

Competitor Vehicles: Ford Ecosport, Toyota Etios cross, Volkswagen cross polo

Bottom-line:

Fiat products are better in terms of technology, engine but few factors as we mentioned above has affected their sales in the past. Things have started to improve recently as Fiat India has put in strategy to increase the number of its products offerings, expanding the dealership network and increasing the spares part availability. This will help them to build their brand image in a better way. Fiat India website has made announcement that Fiat Avventura will be launched soon. Fiat has crafted it in a manner it will sure be a head turner. Fiat Avventura launch is crucial to set the path for the future launches, considering the company’s plans to bring the iconic jeep brand from Chrysler to India.

Visit Fiat India Website: http://www.fiat-india.com

 

Jaguar F-type convertible – Owners pride !

Panthera Onca is a species found commonly in the western hemisphere. There is another brand of Panthera Onca also known as “Jaguar” which has its presence all over the world and more powerful than any beast. Yeah, you’re right -We are taking about the Tata Motors owned Jaguar car company. Staying true to its sporting bloodline the Tata Motors owned Jaguar’s F-type convertible is any racers dream. Showcased in the Paris Motor Show, the F-type found its way to the top of the food chain and it rivals the likes of Porsche 911 and Porsche Boxster.

Jaguar F-Type @Paris Auto Show:

Overview:
It’s here in India and its here for good. The first thing that one would notice is all the beautiful curves and creases, Jaguar has incorporated in this beast. Gazing at this you would be totally lost for memory to try and remember the next best magnificent thing that you have ever seen. Jaguar has put a lot into this car to make it one of the best car there is, also it is notable that this is the first Jaguar without the oval grille.

This jaguar is such a car that switches between a Sunday evening parties to Monday morning track day car with no problem at all. Get behind the drivers wheel and you will know the true purpose that this car has been built for. A foot on the Accelerator pad has the capacity to release the grunt stored in this 3.0 litre V6 supercharged power house producing 340 Horse power. The exhaust is designed in such a way that the sound coming out would put even a thunder storm to shame. Amazingly enough the people at jaguar have added an option which upon the flick of a switch makes this noise even louder. Yes, you heard it right LOUDER!

Jaguar f-type convertible

 

Specs:

Not for the faint hearted. 340Bhp is just for starters, Jaguar offers more options under the F-type hood with a 3.0 liter supercharged V6 producing 380Bhp @ 6500 revs and  460Nm torque between 3500-5000 rpm. And then there is a third option, a barking mad V8, more powerful more torque than the V6, I’m talking in terms of light years…This V8 produces 495Bhp @ 6500 rpm and 625Nm torque between 2500-5500. 1 Jaguar having 495 horses… now that’s truly something! Jaguar has tried to make the F-type convertible, light by crafting it with light weight aluminum body. The outcome? Light and nimble, extremely responsive piece of machine which clobbers any straights or corner and this F-type is extremely good at what it does!

Ride:

Obviously no driver of a convertible would drive around in all the hot spots of the city with the roof on (except when the rain gods thinks otherwise). So when you do let the roof down, it is so very clear the interiors have been given attention in order to look as smacking as the exterior. The F-type pampers its buyers by handing them with a choice of 14 color themes and three finishers for the interior including its-n-bits like bronzed switches.  Thus making you want to flaunt the cockpit to the less fortunate ones who can only glance, while you strike by. One of the good part is that a convertible offers you the privacy you need when you need it. Want the roof back on? The F-type does it with the minimal of efforts, so much so that you can have it on even when you are driving at 50km/hr. Practical? Yes indeed.

Though the base V6 is the least powerful of the lot, Jaguar has crafted it in a way never at any point of time drivers will feel short of breath or the crazy need for extra horse power. It’s just a very exciting machine, switch the roof down let the hurling thump of the exhaust haunt your ears as you watch every poles, trees, buildings, people and places in just an instant even before you could say F-type with its heart stopping acceleration of 0-100 in 5.1 seconds. Drive it to the max and this jag can treat you to a top speed of 260 km/hr, if that doesn’t sound much the more powerful F-type 5.0 supercharged V8 will accelerate from 0 to 100 in just 4.3 seconds and this will max out in a blinding top speed of 300 km/hr, such an incredible feat to reach and the jaguar should do it in style.

Bottom-line: Looks + Powerful engine + Rich interiors + Expertise of Jaguar = F-Type

Jaguar f-type Convertible

Visit India Website: www.jaguar.in

Yamaha R25 – Prelaunch review

A great painter once said ”Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it

He said it because I’m sure he hasn’t seen this thing of a beauty. This hot sports machine, sent the bike world on a spin when they showcased its racing capacity on the 2013 Tokyo motor show, the R25 concept and later in 2014 Auto Expo in Delhi, India.

Yamaha R25

The Path:

Yamaha acquired a cult status in India through its 2 stroke performance bike Yamaha RX100, the bike known for its sleek design, quick acceleration, excellent build quality and easy maneuver. Around the same period of time, RD350 was sold in India. Yamaha, in 2008 launched the sportier R15 & later upgraded the same with R15 V2.0 in 2011 with more awesome features to woo bike enthusiasts. We’ve been long hearing Yamaha working on a 250cc bike to fill the demanding quarter liter class which has been long dominated by the likes of Honda CBR250R and recently Kawasaki has also made its intentions of playing a key role with its Ninja 300 in this segment. Many taunted Yamaha’s entry as ‘too little, too late!’ … well, Is it so? HELL NO!!! … The time taken by Yamaha has paid off; they’ve come out with this brutal beauty that would easily manage to send your girlfriend sitting behind screaming at any given day of the year:)

Valentino Rossi (MotoGP World Champion) Rides Yamaha R25:

Yamaha R25:

The Bike is a feast for the rider with its sporty twin headlights, an overhead pilot light and rear LED lights; it takes its design pattern from its older sibling the R6S and R1. The sharp lines and the cutting side mirrors mounted on the front cowl make it look sleek and aerodynamic. At the heart of R25 is a 250cc parallel-twin 8-valve liquid cooled engine that produces a staggering 36 HP @ 12000 rpm that puts it in its own league, overpowering the baby ninja and Honda’s CBR250R by a long shot. It comes with a 6 speed gearbox. The R25 doesn’t come low in the torque department as well, producing 22.1 NM peak torque @ 10000 revs its any riders delight. It has a 14 liter tank and weighs 166kg (Kerb). The Speedo console being Analog-digital gives it a fresh look. Yamaha is known for their power across the wide rev band and excellent handling dynamics. Yamaha has carefully designed the same so that the bike can be used for day to day commute as well. Its firm and sporty telescopic front and monoshock rear coupled with 10 spoke wide radial would encourage its tamer to take any curve with confidence at any speeds. The bike comes with 3 color options: Black predator, Diablo Red and Racing Blue.

Competitor bikes: Honda CBR 250R, Kawasaki Ninja 300, Suzuki Inazuma 250

Bottom-line: Yamaha has unleashed the racer in the younger crowd with its earlier models. Although Yamaha R25 is launched in Indonesia at present, this mean machine has made every biker enthusiasts in India to try and get their hands dirty. Including Me! Yamaha has got one heck of a stallion in its shed. As “The Doctor” Rossi says in the test ride video, this bike should pack a punch and get ready for the sucker punch effect. The bike is expected to be launched around the end of this year or early next year in India. Worth the wait!

Keep yourself updated with further news on Yamaha R25 here on TurboZens!

vrooom…. vvvrrooooomm………. vvrrrooooommmmmmmmm

 

The raise & fall of Iconic automobiles in India

What is that common between Me, Birlas, Morris Motors Limited, Kolkata and Oxford (United Kingdom)?

Its the Hindustan Ambassador car or Amby as it’s fondly called as.

Automobile Icons:

Hindustan Motors Limited (HM) was setup in 1942 before Indian independence by B.M.Birla. The initial operations started in an assembly plant in Gujarat. Later the assembly plant was shifted to Kolkata, West Bengal. Hindustan Ambassador car was based on Morris Oxford model manufactured by Morris Motors Limited in United Kingdom. Another great car manufactured by Hindustan Motors was the Contessa. Hindustan Ambassador car and Contessa both was popular among government officials and politicians. Both the cars at their time were all about Status, Style and Prestige.

Bajaj Auto Company started its Bajaj Scooter production from 1972. The first model was 2 stroke engines with 150cc named as Bajaj Super. The original design of Bajaj super was based on Piaggio’s Vespa. Later Bajaj Chetak was produced and it was named as Chetak, after the Indian warrior king Rana pratap singh’s horse.

Bajaj Scooter_Ambassador Car

Ride to a Dead end:

Hindustan Motors finally suspended their production of the Ambassador Car. The reasons cited were, not much demand from the consumers and lack of funds to continue their production. Bajaj Scooter was stopped more or less for the same reason. Both these vehicles lost their dominance in the market. In the dynamic market place, consumers have more options, their tastes kept changing and aggressive competition came from Indian, global manufacturers. They slowly started to vanish in the recent decade before it perished.

The modern motorbike/car/scooter buyer wants latest technology, safety, comfort and lower emissions. Companies like Maruti, Royal Enfield read the mindset of the buyer to manufacture vehicles like Maruti Alto, Royal Enfield Classic 350 cc and Classic 500 cc etc.. These vehicles are retro styled with latest technology advancements. This made them to survive in the market and to score in their sales chart.

The general opinion is that Hindustan Motors, Bajaj Auto’s lack of interest, to improve the quality and add technology advancements was the foremost reason for the declined sales which eventually lead to complete halt. The same happened to Contessa or Conti which was manufactured based on General Motors Vauxhall victor FE. The Bajaj Auto Company should have tried something in the lines of Honda Activa and Piaggio Vespa, considering the fact that every 4th two wheeler sold in India is a Scooter. Scooter is a 2 wheeler but carried 4 souls (entire family). Both the Ambassador Car and Chetak scooter enjoyed a loyal customer base that was built in their heydays which span more than a few decades. An opportunity was missed by the manufacturers. Many car and scooter enthusiasts started to remodel these vehicles for their value. I used to drive my cousin’s old remodeled Ambassador Car fitted with an Isuzu engine. It’s absolutely fun, riders pride and collectors favorite. Most of the latest cars of this price range cannot match with the Ambassador car’s seat comfort.

Bottom-Line:

Classic cars/motorbikes/scooters are simpler to work on, made for pure driving experience, rider’s pride, have character and soul. It can’t be explained in words or paper. As an enthusiast, coupled with our nostalgic memories, most of us feel to voice our opinions about our favorite marque. Our thoughts are “the Company should have done this or they should have build that” instead of stopping the production once and for all. At the end of day its business and they would have discarded it considering various factors too. Whatever the case maybe, there is a proclamation in few countries when new monarch’s accession to the throne “Long live the King”. I would echo the same for Amby and Chetak which has now became old classics. Vacuum created by them can never be filled.

 

Honda Mobilio – a Pre-launch expert review

WOW factors about Honda Mobilio:

Reliability, Fuel efficiency of Diesel engine, Wide network of dealers, Low maintenance cost, Performance of petrol engine, spacious cabin & yes the name “HONDA” !

Factors against Honda Mobilio:

Noisy diesel engine which lacks refinement and low ground clearance — with respect to other models.

People’s love for MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle):

Mpv’s are also known as minivan’s in North America. In one way, mpv’s are a symbol of parenthood, the reason being, most of the people wouldn’t drive it if they don’t have children. Kids love the space in mpv’s whereas sedan, hatchback restrict their movements and MPV’s are great people movers. Mpv’s offer extra large space coupled with the ability to fold down all the seats. The Indian market has already has a few mpv’s  like Maruti Ertiga (though it’s called as muv  ie. Multi-Utility vehicle), Chevrolet Enjoy, Nissan Evalia etc. The latest one that will join this group in near future is Honda Mobilio after its runaway success in Indonesia.

Looks:

Honda Mobilio is a 7 seater mpv, which was produced in 2001 but not launched in the Indian market at that time. Honda will launch its second generation mpv soon in India. Honda India has also made an official announcement of this news on its website. The platform of Honda mobilio is same as that of Honda Amaze and the Honda Brio. This gives the flexibility to Honda for sharing the parts. Honda mobilio has the same strong bold lines found in its earlier models which looks better than the other mpv’s of this segment. The front carries the sharp grille and looks sporty. The rear comes with integrated roof spoiler, tail lamps which are typical to Honda design.

Honda Mobilio MPV

Interior:

Honda mobilio will have three rows of seats. The mid rows of seats can be folded to make space and access to the 3rd row seats. Mid rows of seats in Honda Mobilio comes with a 60:40 split. The same way 3rd of seats can be folded to get huge space for loading bay. This should also provide a better leg room. Honda has increased wheelbase in Honda Mobilio than Honda Amaze and Honda Brio. Honda mobilio launched in Indonesia lacks steering mounted audio controls and chrome trim, not sure if Honda will include this in the Indian version.

Under the Hood:

Honda mobilio will be powered by the same 1.5litre diesel engine employed in Honda Amaze and latest generation Honda City. This will be a four cylinder engine which produces 100ps @ 3600rpm and a torque of [email protected] 1750rpm. Honda mobilio will also have the time tested petrol offering, which will produce 119ps of power @6600rpm and torque of 145nm @4600. Honda mobilio has already received car of the year award by the iotomotif online magazine.

Bottom-line: The runaway success of Honda Amaze and Honda city with its diesel offering has set the path which should be an advantage for Honda Mobilio.

Curious Questions of Motor heads:

1. Honda Mobilio Launch date?

Expected in July 2014.

2. Honda Mobilio expected Price?

6 – 8.5 Lakhs

 

Ford Mustang Shelby – the king of muscle cars !

Reason people love Muscle cars :

  1. Need for speed
  2. Looks
  3. Roaring sound of the engines
  4. Novelty of owning it and guaranteed head-turner
  5. A bold statement that you make “ I am what I am”

Reasons people dislike muscle cars :

  1. Not practical to drive for daily use
  2. Fuel guzzlers
  3. Higher emissions

Given a chance to list the classic muscle cars, most of them would list 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, 1969 Ford Boss 429 Mustang, Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, Chevrolet Chevelle SS, 1970 Dodge Charger, 1971 Plymouth HemiCuda, 1970 Pontiac GTO, and 1970 Buick GSX etc. Considering the successful muscle cars produced we can say that 1965 is the beginning of muscle car era which lasted for more than a decade. So among the list what made Ford Mustang Shelby a special one?

History :

Automotive legend Carroll Shelby was the brain behind designing high performance cars for Ford, namely Ford Mustang Shelby. The first car was Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 manufactured in 1965. The same year saw the race version of the car called as Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R. The most notable achievement happened in 1967, Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 was released. Till day this car is a favorite for fans. Years rolled by and different versions was released. The latest one is 2014 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. Carroll Shelby has made the word Ford Mustang synonymous to his name.

Carroll Shelby With GT350_GT500

The Car :

1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 had a 4 speed manual transmission with a V8 engine which produces horsepower of 355hp @ 5400rpm and torque of about [email protected] It won the hearts of enthusiasts for its straight-line speed and was an instant hit. Among many other features include sporty stripes, lowered suspension with coilovers, hood mounted air scoop and side exhaust pipes with glasspak mufflers. Those who own this beauty feels its bang for the buck. The car found itself in the top slot in a poll conducted to its readers by MSN Autos for 10 greatest muscle cars of all time.

1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 :

 

2014 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 :

In Movies :

1967 Ford Mustang Shelby codenamed Eleanor featured in the film “Gone in 60 Seconds” released in the year 2000. Replicas of Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 were made for the film and few of them were totaled because of the damage during the stunt sequences. Cinema vehicle services supplied cars for the movie. Later the car was displayed in Auto shows, car fairs and auto races. It was sold at an auction for $1 million. After the movie release, there is surge in demand for Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. The catchy phrase “If you leave the car unlocked, it will be gone in 60 seconds” became popular.

Bottom-line : The definition of a muscle car will vary from person to person. But only few cars live up to the expectation of muscle car fans. Ford Mustang Shelby is for sure one among them. Ford Mustang Shelby with its timeless design lived by Carroll Shelby’s motto “Performance is my business”. It reflects the glorious past of Ford, Carroll Shelby and will continue to do so even in the coming era.

 

Tata Bolt and Tata Zest – an expert review

Why you should buy this car ?

Wide network of dealers, Better Mileage, Low cost and Maintenance, Time tested 1.3 QJD engine of FIAT.

Why you should NOT buy this car ?

Niggling issues, Fit and Finish, Taxi image — with respect to the earlier models.

 

As the name suggests, with great enthusiasm and energy Tata motors is all set to launch its 2 new products – Tata Bolt and Tata Zest. Whether it is going to be a shot in the arm or not,  let’s take a deep-dive at what’s in the offering.

Tata Motors at Auto Expo :

Looks :

Tata Motors has started to focus much on the design aspect for its new cars to attract back its customers. This is much needed one in the current competitive market where the customers are wooed by the fluidic design of Hyundai and Arrow shot design of Honda. We hope even Tata motors design engineers would have eagerly waited for a green signal to change the design that most Tata cars carry till now. Personally i am not a big fan of the overall design in Tata Indica vehicle. Thanks to Tata motors for finally deciding to change the design pattern. Tata Bolt and Zest will be the first to carry the company’s new design patterns. Both Tata Bolt and Tata Zest have been designed taking inputs from the three Tata Motors design studios in Pune (India), Coventry (UK) and Turin (Italy). They call the new design lines (Tata signature grille) as new ‘Humanity Line’, which is visually looking better. In the Tata Zest, the projector headlamps are complemented by chrome accents (Considering the people’s love for the look & shine), the rear treatment with LED lamps, new set of 15 inch alloy wheels and better exterior styling.

Interior :

Tata Motors has unveiled separate website for the all new Tata Bolt and Tata Zest. The new design language gives a fresh character to both the cars. Interior design too looks much better than the current models. The changes like silver trim inserts, newly designed steering wheels, enriched dashboard looks, black and optional color combination shade, redesigned instrument cluster with integrated multi-information display and A/C vent design.  We are not sure if leather seats would be provided as an optional.

Under the Hood (Bonnet) :

Both the Tata Bolt and Tata Zest will be powered by the first-in-class Revotron 1.2T engine. The Revotron 1.2T represents the next generation of revolutionary petrol engines that is four cylinder, turbocharged and MPFI engine. In MPFI engine, there is one fuel injector installed for each of the 4 cylinders, which is expected to deliver superior performance, power, torque and mileage. This is possible as the MPFI (micro-chip) which effectively uses the petrol. With the 5-speed automated manual transmission (AMT), The 1.2-litre petrol motor develops 85PS at 5,000rpm and 140Nm of torque at 1,750-3,500rpm. What attracts us is the diesel engine. Take a guess, yes. It’s the so called “national engine of India” by enthusiasts. You are right. It’s the fiat sourced 1.3-litre quadrajet diesel engine. This is the engine which also powers the Maruti Swift, Maruti Dzire and other Fiat products. The diesel engine will deliver 90ps and 200NM of torque.

Features :

With some exclusive features as the Tata motors say, Tata Bolt and Tata Zest will also be among the most-loaded cars in their respective segments which features the all new 5 inch infotainment system with touch screen supporting various functions by HARMAN. Harman’s automotive division sells branded audio systems through several car makers, including Mercedes-Benz, Toyota/Lexus, BMW, and General Motors. MapmyIndia has designed the next-generation navigation & location based services for Tata Bolt and Tata Zest. In my opinion, in India it’s better to ask people where the road will take you considering the frequent and unexpected maintenance work carried in Indian cities. Drive by wire technology for better engine response, reduced wear and tear over the years compared to the hydraulic and mechanical technology used in conventional cars. Tata motors claim that the Improved suspension coupled with a zero pivot sub frame will ensure smooth and comfortable ride. The true potential of which can be explored once you take the vehicle for a drive.

Trivia :

Tata Motors has roped in the formula one motor racing driver from India, Narain Karthikeyan in the development of Tata Bolt and Tata Zest. Sources say his job is to create a benchmark in different segments by working closely with engineers. This will give edge to Tata Motors on how to surpass the competition vehicles in this category. His feedback ranges from like high-speed steering feel and striking a balance between performance and fuel efficiency (Highly critical in the Indian market).

Bottom-line : As the saying goes ‘Patriotism ends at marketplace’, only quality products stand apart and survive in the market. In south India, there is a widely used colloquial term “TATA”, which means saying good-bye. We believe Tata Bolt and Tata Zest have the right mix that can save Tata Motors from customers saying “TATA” to them.

Curious Questions of Motor heads:

– Tata Bolt Launch date?

Expected in third quarter of 2014.

– Tata Zest Launch date?

Expected in third quarter of 2014.

– Tata Bolt expected price?

4.5 – 7 Lakhs

– Tata Zest expected price?

5 – 8 Lakhs