Finally after long wait comes the positive news for two-wheeler giant. Bajaj Quadricycles RE60 has been allowed to ply in Indian cities as public transport
Finally after long wait and serious opposition from top carmakers in the country Bajaj seems to have won an unlikely war in its favor. Its Quadricycles RE60 will be allowed to enter the market but with a rider. The companyâ€™s latest quadricucle will have no place as a private vehicle and will be meant for only as public transport mode. This means that these cars like vehicles that from outset look more beautiful than Tataâ€™s Nano â€“though Tataâ€™s small car Nano is far more powerful than this vehicle â€“will not be seen on highways across the country.
Tata Motors and Maruti Suzukiâ€™s opposition against Quadricycles RE60 stemmed from the fact that they thought it a threat to their cheapest cars Nano and Maruti Suzukiâ€™s 800 variant that is sold only in small cities across the country. In big cities its sales has been banned due to emission norms there and if Bajaj Quadirucycle was launched as a private vehicle it could have meant the death of 800 and Nano.
Though the approval has come after a very long wait, it is finally good for the Indian two wheeler major. A statement from Indiaâ€™s road transport ministry said, â€œA separate category has been proposed for notification to include quadricycle with specifications adopting present norms notified in the 3-wheeler category of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules (CMVR) or the European Union quadricycle, whichever is more stringentâ€. Both Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki opposed the move on the ground that launching the vehicle would mean compromising on safety.
Bajaj was looking like fighting a losing battle. IT may be recalled that RE60 that was showcased by Bajaj in the 2012 Auto Expo is almost similar to the one being showcased in 1998 Auto Expo held in New Delhi, by Tata Engineering (now Tata Motors). It had called its four-wheeled micro car ‘Zing’ and was being projected as a ‘genuine people’s car’ based largely on two-wheeler components, thereby being the first quadricycle prototype made by a serious Indian manufacturer. At that time, Bajaj Auto Ltd and Maruti Suzuki India Ltd had opposed the vehicle, citing safety parameters. In fact the concept that is still alien for the Indian roads is a major hit in Western Europe, where 340-500cc quadricycles are quite common, especially in France, Spain and Italy. Many European countries need no full driving license and in some cases none at all.
The RE60 is not really a car as it is built on a bike capacity. Being jointly manufactured by Bajaj autos and Renault, RE60 comes with a 200 cc single cylinder engine. The capacity of this engine is to generate power output of around 20 bhp. The four-wheeler has a metal-polymer monocoque body due to which it weights 400 kg and a turning radius of 3.5m. The Quadricycle is expected to attain top speed of 70 kmph and expected mileage of 24 kmpl within the city and 35 kmpl on the highways.Â Being compact in size, the Bajaj RE60 has a rugged look and looks rather bulky although it is not so. It attains a noteworthy stance with the help of upright glasshouse, short wheelbase and skinny wheels. One can easily notice a Renault touch in the headlights of the RE60. Further, the company has not provided any grille in the RE60, which makes it unique. The rear section of this vehicle is flat and trendy tail lights give it an attractive look. Overall length, width and height of the new Bajaj RE60 will be 2752 mm, 1312 mm and 1650 mm respectively