Tata Motors plans to put the Bolt hatchback and Zest compact sedan into serial production by July 2014. Both cars were showcased at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo and represent a bold new direction for Tata Motors, a car maker that is doing poorly in its home market, India. With production to commence by July, both cars are likely to be launched in time for the Indian festive season that kicks off with Eid, gaining momentum during Dusshera-Diwali, with the cheer lasting all the while until a little after Christmas.
While the Bolt and the Zest are based on the age-old X1 platform that made its debut with the Indica, this platform has been tweaked to suit the new-generation Tata cars. Also, the Bolt hatchback and the Zest compact sedan feature all-new top hats, with extensive design changes. Both cars will be class leaders in many aspects, what with turbo petrol engine and automated manual transmission (AMT) technologies billed to feature prominently on the Bolt and the Zest. A new touch screen-based infotainment system developed by Harman will be another notable feature on both cars.
Also, the cars will herald the era of diesel automatics becoming more widespread in the budget car categories of India as automated manual transmission technology will allow Tata Motors to equip the Bolt and the Zest Diesels with an AMT option that isn’t too expensive, while being light and fuel efficient as well. On a similar note, the REVOTRON 1.2 turbo petrol engine (85 Bhp-150 Nm) on the cars is a unit designed for fuel efficiency and driveability, rather than outright performance. At launch, the Zest and the Bolt will be the most affordable turbo petrol engined cars in India.
The diesel engine on both the cars will be the 1.3 liter Fiat Multijet motor, in two states of tune, 75 Bhp-190 Nm and 90 Bhp-200 Nm. This motor is tried and tested, and is used on a flurry of car models sold in India, so much so that it has even earned the nickname, “National Engine of India”. Fit and finish levels on the Bolt and Zest are expected to be top notch, unlike anything Tata Motors has offered thus far. Both cars are very important for Tata Motors in terms of the direction in which the automaker is headed. For this very reason, the Bolt and the Zest are widely anticipated to be two of Tata Motors’ best efforts in recent times.