Tata Bolt Preview
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Tata Motors had showcased the new Bolt and Zest at the Auto Expo. These are the two new products that the company has been banking on. With a goal becoming the second largest passenger car player, the Pimpri-based manufacturer will be introducing several new products in the coming years. It has already refreshed its existing products and several new are in the pipeline. We got our hands on the Tata Bolt and we share our preview of this new B+ segment hatchback that should be available by the festive season. We had already previewed the Zest and this is a separate preview for the Bolt.
The Bolt is based on the same Vista platform and the similarity is visible. The first thing you notice is the paint quality that looks premium and has metal flakes to add the touch of classiness. The front grille is made from a black mesh grille and the crowned hood has prominent stakes. This is a part of Tata’s new design DNA, which will be seeing on all the passenger cars in the near future. The headlights of the Bolt also meld well with the new grille, and styling does look like an upgrade on the existing Vista/Manza styling.
The side profile is where there is a lot of resemblance to the Vista. The Zest rides on 195/55 R16 tyres. The pillars on the Bolt are blacked-out to make it look like the floating-roof. The C-pillar too gets some blacked out areaThe Bolt retains only blacked-out B-pillar and DLO (day-light opening) The Bolt gets projector lamps, however there is no LEDs like we saw in the Zest. It also gets projector lamps, but not xenons. They have the conventional 55/60W bulb and that’s about it.
The biggest USP of the Bolt just like the Zest is its interior styling. The flowing centre console also looks stylish and trendy. The instrument panel flows horizontally than vertically. This is very much-like wrap around, focusing more on the driver. What remains same from the Vista/Manza are the air-con knobs and side vents, power window switches and the door latch. It has a new smaller multi-functional three-spoke steering wheel, which is good to grip. The instrument panel is sloping from right to the left and a new Harman touchscreen infotainment has been developed. This system has Bluetooth, USB, SD and aux connectivity. The Harman system has been developed in India and it has voice command buttons too, on the steering wheel. So, we can expect it to have voice commands.
There is no difference in the interior dimensions of the Vista and the Bolt, hence the space on offer is just sufficient. There is no problem with the headroom or legroom for tall occupants in the first row. The first row seats too, are a lot more supportive than before. Hope something similar makes it to the production models as well. There is sufficient thigh and back support in the first row, however the second row is just fine. The leather on both does feel plush and premium. The Bolt targets the trendy, hence they get beige and black interiors respectively.
Engine and Transmission:
Tata Motors has plonked in a 1.2-litre Revotron turbo petrol and 1.3-litre Quadrajet diesel engines on the new Bolt. The old 1.4-litre petrol has been discontinued. The Vista will continue to sell along, even once Bolt is launched. The 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine is the new Revotron series of engines from Tata. This petrol engine will produce 84bhp of power and 140Nm of torque. At the moment, only the Polo gets turbo petrol, with a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. The Indian automaker also claims that this new mill will improve the drivability and make it easier to drive without frequent gearshifts as this engine has a good low-end torque. There will be different driving modes on this engine; viz. Eco, City and Sport. The Eco mode is for better economy, sport for outright performance and city for regular driving. On press of a button, the ECU mapping changes to match with the driving style and give the output accordingly.
The Quadrajet is the tried and tested diesel engine and it has been one of the mostly widely sold diesel engine in India by Fiat as multijet or DDiS by Maruti Suzuki. This engine shall have a fixed geometry turbo, which means it will produce 75bhp of power and 190Nm of torque. The same that also powered the It will come mated to either a five-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automated manual transmission. The automated manual transmission is already available on Fiat in the international market and the same has been bought over to India.
The Bolt is based on the Vista platform, but it has undergone several major changes even under its skin. The major changes includes the new ZF electronic-power steering, which is quick and responsive. At the same time, it is very light to drive as well. This is the same power steering technology we have driven on the Nano Twist.
To begin with the chassis, it has new underpinnings as the front suspension absorbs the road shocks better with the new dual-path dampeners. We have witnessed something similar on the Fiat Linea too. At the rear, the torsion beam has also undergone some revision to match up with the front. The rear on the Zest is a tad softer than the Bolt for better comfort for the rear passengers. The Bolt has a tad stiffer suspension for better handling.
When to come?
Tata Motors will first launch the Zest and then the Bolt should be out by the festive season. This will make it a good buy in the B+ segment and pricing will be the key factor. Diwali time will be a good time to launch as it will help to increase the sales too.