These days, automobile manufacturers are working on constantly coming up with new ways that help them visually differentiate their cars from others. One of the many things that they go in for are body kits (side skirting, front spoiler, rear spoiler, chrome accentuated head lamps, tail lamps and the likes), which make the mundane looking cars slightly sportier and a cut above the rest.
It looks like that Tata Motors wants to keep up with the changing times. The Indian car maker is likely to introduce a body kit package for the Bolt and Zest. Tata wants to be seen as a youthful brand and the body kits are a step in this direction. This information has been confirmed by Mr. Pratap Bose, Head of Design, Tata Motors to RushLane.
Although the exact details of the body kits, including the pricing haven’t been revealed, the kits are expected to feature bumper and side skirts, spoiler, stylish alloy wheels and other racy highlights and trims. These kits are expected to hit the market within a few months of the Zest and Bolt’s launches.
Some of the better body kits that we have seen on sale from car makers themselves are that of the Honda Mobilio RS, the Amaze, the Toyota Etios and the Fortuner Sportivo. These kits are offered at an additional cost over the regular editions. For instance, the Amaze was launched in its Anniversary edition guise with all round-skirting, door visors and new exhaust tips. It commanded a premium of roughly Rs 70,000 over the regular version but also had a revamped upholstery and wood finish accents on the inside. Toyota charges 50,000 rupees for the Sportivo body kits for the Etios twins.
The body kits derive their appeal from the usage in racing cars. The regular cars get somewhat closer to racing cars (in the driver’s mind) upon addition of these kits. Body kits offer a lot of aerodynamic support and a world of difference in race cars and sports cars but in street legal cars, their usage is generally restricted to enhancement of visual appeal. They offer better down force and weight savings in race cars and help in improvement of the drag coefficient but all these factors become irrelevant in day to day city commutes.
Skirting usually serves the purpose of bringing the car closer to the ground, thus creating a low pressure area under the car which makes it stick to the race track which has the best tarmac surface. But when it comes to city commutes or even highways, the speed breakers and potholes in India may end up destroying your precious visual appeal at the first point of contact. The large air dams up front which make their way to the cars as a part of body kits force the air to the sides and into ducts that then lead to the brakes and the water and oil cooling systems. In city drives, these are just irrelevant as the regular air dams work just fine.