2014 Tata Zest Diesel aims to be a segment leader with an automated manual transmission

Snapshot: Diesel powered automatic cars don’t exist in the sub-10 lakh rupee segments. Tata Motors aims to change all that with the diesel powered Zest compact sedan that will be sold with an automated manual transmission, a best-in-class feature.

2014 Tata Zest Diesel Compact Sedan Pic
2014 Tata Zest Diesel Compact Sedan

Take a look at Tata Motors unveils Bolt hatchback and Zest compact sedan

The automated manual transmission that Tata Motors will outfit in the Zest compact sedan will be called the F-TRONIC gearbox. The F-TRONIC gearbox will come with 5 forward gears and 1 reverse gear. The car will feature as a Tiptronic gearbox, allowing the driver to shift up and down the gear range without the requirement of a manual clutch. The AMT gearbox will also function as a fully automatic transmission when slotted in D (Drive) mode.

In the Zest equipped with the AMT (semi-automatic), the manual clutch is replaced by an automatic clutch unit. An automated manual transmission is not just lighter than a traditional torque converter, but is also more fuel efficient due its lower complexity, direct drive and number of parts. The lower complexity also makes the AMT a lower priced alternative to a fully automatic torque converter.

The diesel engine of the Zest is a 1.3 liter Fiat Multijet motor that outputs 90 Bhp-200 Nm. This engine features a variable geometry turbocharger and is also used on the Tata Manza full-size C-Segment sedan. Coming to the petrol engine of the Zest, the recently unveiled 1.2 liter REVOTRON turbo petrol motor will make it to the compact sedan’s engine bay.

This engine – based on the 1.2 Liter XETA petrol cast iron block – outputs 80 Bhp of peak power and 140 Nm of peak torque. The engine will be mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox as standard with the semi-automatic gearbox being offered as an option. Both the petrol and diesel variants of the Zest compact sedan will get different drive modes, a feature hitherto seen only on sportier cars.

The Tata Zest’s competition in India will include the Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire, the Honda Amaze and two other upcoming compact sedans, the 2015 Ford Figo-based and Hyundai Grand i10-based compact sedans. Gauging from Tata Motors’ sharp pricing strategy, the prices of the Zest could start from well within 5 lakh rupees. The car will be launched in India in the second half of the year.