2012 Auto Expo - Bajaj RE60
Bajaj launched their first car, the RE60, at the 2012 Auto Expo. There were expectations that this would be Bajaj's competitor to the Nano and adding fuel to the fire was the possible joint venture between Bajaj and the Renault Nissan partnership for a small car. Contrary to speculation they are not billing this four wheeler 'car', instead Bajaj had clearly stated that it's a commercial vehicle and an upgrade or replacement for a three wheeler auto rickshaw.
If before the Auto Expo 2012 this car created a buzz then its unveiling has been a loud bang! On the first press day, out of all the launches that were covered on our website the RE60 got the most hits and continues to be a top viewed story as the Auto Expo rolls on. Ok, so it's not what we were expecting, a Nano competitor at least if not a Nano beater. It is definitely an upgrade to a three-wheeler people transport vehicle. Four wheels would improve stability and further improving the safety aspect are the seatbelts for the front and rear seats. In terms of appearance too, it is an improvement over an auto rickshaw despite the cost saving plastic that has been utilised almost everywhere. The windows have been replaced with plastic screens and the roof too is simply a big high-impact fibre insert. Doors are also a big distinguishing trait that the RE60 has over your conventional three-wheeler.
RE stands for rear-engined and 60 is the emission figure for this vehicle (60g per km of CO2). The engine that powers the RE60 is a DTSi 200cc mill, which is liquid cooled, borrows much of its technology from their 'Pulsar' line of two wheelers. Mileage has been quoted at 35kmpl. Also pre-installed on the passenger side of the dash is a fare meter driving home the purpose of this four-wheeled people carrier. The price has not been revealed but could end up being around the Rs 1 lakh figure.
Bajaj have also acknowledged that Renault would be seeing this for the first time at the Auto Expo, we wonder what their reaction would be to the car… sorry three wheeler replacement that Bajaj have unveiled!