Tata Motors is likely to launch the Bolt B+ segment hatchback in India on the 15th of January, making the car the first high voltage launch of 2015 from the Indian automaker. The Bolt is based on a heavily modified X1 platform, which first underpinned the Indica hatchback.
Through the likes of the Bolt hatchback and the Zest compact sedan, Tata Motors has continued to bank upon the X1 platform, which is expected to serve the automaker for at least half a decade more. The Bolt is Tata Motors’ comeback vehicle in the B+ segment hatchback space. The car will be priced and positioned under the Zest compact sedan.
In terms of engine options, Tata Motors has lined up the 1.2 liter REVOTRON turbocharged petrol and the 1.3 liter Fiat Multijet turbodiesel motors. Both engines will be initially mated with 5 speed manual transmissions, with the diesel motor to eventually gain the automated manual transmission (AMT) as an option.
The Bolt comes with all-black interiors, with the dashboard layout and features shared with the Zest compact sedan. The car is one of the most loaded hatchbacks in the B+ segment as far as features and creature comforts are concerned. A value price tag is expected for the car, in typical Tata Motors style.
Tata Motors’ will be hoping that the Bolt does a Zest reprise. The Zest, launched a few months ago in India, is Tata Motors’ best selling car and has also displaced the Honda Amaze from its perch in India. The compact sedan does monthly volumes of about 4,000 units, with sales restrained mainly due to lower parts supply than a paucity in demand.
Tata Motors’ President, Mayank Pareek, feels that the Zest is a 5,000 unit/month car. If the same kind of success can be replicated with the Bolt, Tata Motors will be well and truly back in the Indian car market. The Bolt’s challenge starts from January 2015 and the automaker has already advised dealers to ratchet up sales force hiring, meant exclusively for the new car.