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September 25, 2015: Bajaj launched its RE60 (Qute) today at approximately $2000. It is powered by a 216cc triple spark, water cooled DTS-i four valve engine capable of reaching a top speed of 70 kmph. It gives a mileage of over 35 kmpl which has a rear engine rear wheel drive setup. The vehicle also has a low CO2 emission rate of 60g/km and passed the European Whole Vehicle Type Approval. Launch in India is still waiting with the approval from Supreme Court still pending.
Bajaj has given a great surprise to Indian car market and for the consumers who are planning to buy a commercial 4 wheeler in near future. Bajaj Auto India has tried its luck in the Indian car market by stepping in the most thriving segment, small car section. Bajaj Auto India revealed its small car concept in the year of 2008, where it promised to give a severe competition to the world cheapest car, Tata Nano. However, the project of ultra low cost small car by Bajaj Auto got nearly cancelled. Apparently, this project had seen a lot of change in the direction and as a result, a four wheeler commercial vehicle has been produced by the company which is actually upgraded from a three wheeler. As expected the vehicle is not a full-grown passenger car, which is not an impressive thing. This four-wheeler by Bajaj Auto India, which is mainly for commercial application, is unveiled on the 3rd of January 2012.
Bajaj Auto is a very well known Indian automobile maker, which was started by Mr. Jamnalal Bajaj from the state of Rajasthan in 1930s. Bajaj has its roots in Pune, Maharashtra, Waluj near Aurangaband and one in Pantnagar located in Uttaranchal. The company is better known for producing automobiles such as motorcycles, auto rickshaw, scooters and other automobiles. The most successful motorcycles manufactured by Bajaj Auto comprise of Platina, Pulsar, Avenger, XCD and Discover. Now the company is ready with its new four-wheeler in the country.
The designing and development of Bajaj RE60 was solely done by Bajaj Auto India, but because of limited experience in the car segment, the company decided to keep itself in the familiar territory than be completely sunken in the actual small passenger car segment of the Indian car market. It was pretty wise decision by Bajaj Auto India to stick to its experience that was gained in the three-wheelers segment, rather than doing what Tata Motors did with Tata Nano. Tata Nano did came out to be the cheapest car in the world but wasn’t successful in terms of being technically sound. According to the Bajaj Auto, its new four-wheeler could be called an autorickshaw with an extra wheel. The managing director of Bajaj Auto, Rajiv Bajaj said that at Bajaj Auto, they believe the people of this planet deserve much better, much faster. Bajaj has stressed on minimal investment for RE60. Using existing plant for manufacturing RE60, the company has saved Rs. 350 crore.
At first glance, the short wheelbase, upright glasshouse, and skinny wheels give the RE60 a comical stance. However, a closer look reveals a smart urban face, with headlights that have a Renault touch to their design. There is no grille under the RE badge on the snout. The interiors are also Spartan – the dash has the instrument cluster in the centre with stowage boxes on either side. However, there is a lot of storage space in the cabin. The seats look quite basic and the rear bench is flat and an evolution of the rickshaw bench.
The four-wheeler basically targets the commercial vehicle section of the Indian automobile industry. Bajaj RE60 is powered by a small 200cc single cylinder engine delivering approx 20bhp of power. Apparently, this four-wheeler by Bajaj Auto has a top speed of about 70 km per hours and will deliver a mileage of 35 km per litre, which sounds great. With a metal-polymer monocoque body, Bajaj RE60 measures 400 kg in weight. The length is 2.75 meters while the width of RE60 is 1.3 metres. Bajaj’s first 4 –wheeler has a turning circle radius of 3.5m. Two models of RE6O differ in their seating layout. While in one the seating arrangement is done as 2+2, the other model can only seat driver in front and 3 passengers at the back.
The famous Renault-Nissan venture seemed to be very much interested in Bajaj’s ultra low cost car, but the alliance was never involved in the development of the four-wheeler. According to Bajaj Auto, RE60 is available for Renault-Nissan to market under their brands but it needs to be seen if the alliance is interested to take to sell the badge engineered by Bajaj. But on the other hand, Renault has articulated some reservations on the project earlier, when it was in its development stage. A couple of months ago, the managing director of Renault India, Mr. Marc Nassif mentioned that the company would first see what actually Bajaj will be offering before Renault-Nissan take any step further in future. In the year of 2008, when Bajaj Auto India showcased its small car concept, or should we say its four-wheeler concept, the company had high hopes and was wishing to give a severe competition to Tata Nano. If the present Bajaj RE60 project is enhanced and developed further in future, the firm would surely be able to develop proper small car, which would be successful in the Indian car market. But for the time being, Bajaj RE60 is a major competition to Tata Magic Iris and not Tata Nano.
In the year of 2008, when Bajaj Auto India showcased its small car concept, or should we say its four-wheeler concept, the company had high hopes and was wishing to give a severe competition to Tata Nano. If the present Bajaj RE60 project is enhanced and developed further in future, the firm would surely be able to develop proper small car, which would be successful in the Indian car market. But for the time being, Bajaj RE60 is a major competition to Tata Magic Iris and not Tata Nano.