2014 New Delhi - Tata Motors previews Bolt and Zest, unveils Nexon Concept

Tata Motors was undoubtedly one of the stars of the 2014 Auto Expo in New Delhi. Battling with falling sales and a series of flopped models, Tata led the Indian assault, putting up a feisty display of upcoming models, design concepts and special projects developed exclusively for the show.

Despite being built on a new platform with tough build quality, segment-leading passenger space, comfortable ride and a frugal diesel engine, the Vista hatchback and Manza sedan were not able to create an impression amongst the car-buying public in India. Familiarity with the previous-generation Indica and Indigo was cited as one of the major reasons for that. With the Bolt and Zest, the engineers at Tata Motors have responded to that criticism, trying their best to mask the humble origins through three key principles - DesigNext, DriveNext and ConnectNext.

The DesigNext initiative previews the new design language of Tata Motors. In what can be termed a beautiful evolution of the smiling grille that the earlier Tata models were famous for, the new signature grille has something called a Humanity Line that extends into the headlight clusters on either sides. The inbuilt projectors and the sharp fog-lamp enclosures look contemporary while the sharp cuts in the hood and profile adds muscularity to the overall design. The similarity between the Bolt and the Zest ends with the rear doors. While the Bolt carries the contemporary redesign forward with an all-new rear end that features redesigned taillights, tailgate and bumper, the Zest sees a bulbous boot stuck on to it's rear. As with most other compact sedans, the Indian small car regulations that provide excise concession to cars less than four meters in length wreak havoc with the Zest's proportions. It is to Tata's credit then that the Zest still looks better than many of its competitors.

If the exteriors have moved forward a few notches, the interiors have leapt several notches higher. An all-new steering wheel with metallic insert and integrated buttons and a new center console freshen up the cabin while a next-generation infotainment and climate control system with touch-screen controls and an inbuilt navigation system find their place as part of the ConnectNext initiative. The Bolt and the Zest will also have a brand-new, turbocharged 1.2-liter petrol engine under the hood that was indigenously developed and dubbed the 'Revotron'. Part of the DriveNext initiative, this engine and the new 'F-Tronic' Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) exclusive to the Zest proves that changes to these models are more than skin deep.

Despite being a strong player in the Utility Vehicles segment not so long ago, Tata is conspicuous by its absence in the booming compact Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) segment dominated by the Ford Ecosport, Renault Duster and Nissan Terrano. With the Nexon Concept that debuted at the show, Tata gave us a glimpse of what's in store as and when its compact SUV comes up. Built on the same X1 platform that underpins the Bolt and the Zest, the Nexon Concept sports a butch and modern stance. It remains to be seen how many of these styling elements make it to the production model though.

The Nano Twist with the added comfort of a power steering might only be a few weeks old in the market but that didn't stop Tata from bringing in yet another improved version of its Nano mini car. Redesigned front and rear bumpers with bigger air intakes and a new tailgate that can actually be opened are the visible changes to the car. We strongly feel that Tata Motors should waste no time in bringing this improved version to the market as the absence of power steering and an openable hatch were the two biggest deal-breakers in the Nano. Now that they are rectified, the Nano's appeal is likely to go up.

Well, it has been a fabulous job by Tata Motors till now. All it has to do now is bring these models to the market real quick!

1 comment:

  1. Tata will succeed only if they stop indica, indigo, sumo and safari. Basically the entire range needs an update.