Watch What Happens When A Bicycle Challenges The Bajaj Qute To A Drag Race
Foreigners pit this made-in-India quadricycle against a bicycle in this unusual but funny drag race. The result wasn't totally unexpected
Did you know that the Bajaj Qute, a rarity on Indian roads, is the most affordable car in South Africa? We say ‘car’, but everyone knows that this Bajaj is just a cute li’l quadricycle that wants its place among cars! Although the BS6 Qute is yet to arrive in India, the quadricycle is emissions-compliant and on sale in South Africa. It is also the most affordable car in the country, and that’s why Cars.co.za drag raced it against a worthy competitor: a bicycle. Here are the results:
Shocking, isn’t it? You wouldn’t think that any motor vehicle sold in 2021 could be slower than manual labour! Reminds us of this funny scene from Mr Bean’s Holiday where Rowan Atkinson tries to steal a moped, but it’s so slow that the owner catches up with him on foot! Racing driver Ashley Oldfield is lean, lithe and fast on his lightweight Bianchi road bicycle. The Cars.co.za host in the video says that Ashley’s putting down 1.2kW (1.6PS) of power.
That’s less than one-fourth the output of the 216cc petrol-CNG-powered engine that propels the Bajaj Qute. It is rated at 11PS of power and 16.1Nm of torque in CNG mode, and 13PS/18.9Nm in petrol mode. To keep things fair for this race, the Qute was carrying four people. Physics got the better of our India-built quadricycle.
We weren’t surprised at the performance, since we’ve timed the Qute’s acceleration from a standstill. Our test car needed 7.20 seconds to get to 40kmph, and it took more than 34 seconds to hit its top speed of 70kmph. In comparison, Ashley’s Italian bicycle is a top-of-the-line geared Bianchi, possibly with a carbon frame. This gives him a better power to weight ratio than the Qute in the first drag race and allows him to get to high speeds on level ground.
Unladen, the Bajaj Qute weighs 400kg. But four people wearing thick winter jackets might have nearly doubled the weight of the car. It’s the equivalent of racing a three-wheeler autorickshaw so full that passengers are sharing the driver’s bench -- a common sight in everyday traffic in India.
With a full load of passengers, the Qute loses to the bike. Once the passengers are off-loaded at 5:00 in the video, it manages to beat the bike by a hair’s length. Given that it is meant to be used as a people carrier, we have to say this drag race was a fun, if not useful, test. Imagine how hilarious it would be to see cyclists ring their bells to challenge autos and Qutes at the traffic lights!
With a vehicle such as the Bajaj Qute, economy is a top priority. Bajaj intended it to be an upgrade over a three-wheeler -- a vehicle that has sheltered its passengers from rainwater and remained affordable to buy and run for autorickshaw operators. To that end, the quadricycle is undoubtedly better than an autorickshaw. Find out for yourself in our entertaining video comparison between an auto and a Qute from 2018.
It has three-point seatbelts for all four passengers, and test videos for double lane change and cornering stability are available on Bajaj’s website. However, it isn’t as safe as regular cars that come with government-mandated dual airbags, reverse parking sensors, ABS and a more stable structure than the Qute. This was demonstrated in the quadricycle’s 2016 Euro NCAP crash test, in which the Qute only scored one star out of five.
What did you think about the drag race? Let us know in the comments if you want to see us drag-race more slow vehicles and review them. Just don’t ask us to run or ride a cycle alongside, deal?
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