Bajaj presents RE60, the pseudo-car

Wednesday 04 January 2012, 12:57 PM by

Bajaj Auto, the renowned two-wheeler and three-wheeler making company, has unveiled its first four-wheeler passenger vehicle RE60. The new car will be showcased at the upcoming 2012 New Delhi Auto Expo. While Bajaj will be manufacturing the car, the Indian subsidiaries of Renault and Nissan will market it in the country. RE60 is expected to compete with Tata Nano in the Indian market and may be priced accordingly.

The car is equipped with an 200 cc water cooled DTSi (Digital Twin Spark Ignition) 4 valve engine that will be capable of producing peak power of 20 bhp and top speed of 70 kmph. The highlight of the car is its mileage, which is an important factor. The manufacturer recorded an average of 40 kmpl under testing conditions and so the buyers can expect at least 35 kmpl on-road. Its carbon emission figures, just 60 g of CO2 per km, will also give RE60 a slight advantage over Nano.

Body coloured bumpers and stylish wheels are the notable exterior features of the car, while folding front windows, central speedometer cluster, seatbelts in cabin and 44-litre boot space are prominent interior features. The car has a turning radius of 3.5 m and possesses disc brakes in the front and drum brakes at the rear. This four-seater will also be available in a CNG variant in the Indian market.

Though it has been developed as a passenger car, Bajaj has presented it as an alternative to commercial three-wheelers in cities. Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director, Bajaj Auto Limited said “We are not trying to make a car but a four wheeler meant to ferry people in cities.” He also said, “It is not an incremental but dramatic improvement over a three wheeler. There are over 5 million Bajaj three wheelers in the country today. That’s the market we are aiming for.”

Reportedly, Renault and Nissan have not seen the car till now and will see it at the upcoming Expo. Many believe that the car will not be approved by the two companies, though the manufacturer is confident of its prospects. Bajaj even said “It is okie for me if they (Renault Nissan) want to walk away. There is always a risk when somebody tries to push the envelope and build something disruptive.”

Bajaj believes that its RE60 will find a place in Indian as well as foreign markets. It has already begun producing the vehicle at its Aurangabad plant and will launch the car by the middle of 2012.