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Rediff.com  » Business » Bajaj unveils small car RE60; may price it at Rs 125,000!

Bajaj unveils small car RE60; may price it at Rs 125,000!

Last updated on: January 3, 2012 19:22 IST

Bajaj unveils small car RE60; may price it at Rs 125,000!

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Bajaj Auto, the world's largest manufacturer of three-wheelers, on Tuesday unveiled its ultra low-cost, small four-wheeler for intra-city urban transportation.

Although the company has not yet revealed its exact price, the buzz in the market is that the Bajaj RE60 is likely to be priced between Rs 125,000 and Rs 200,000, giving tough competition to the Tata Nano which is the cheapest car in the world currently.

With this vehicle, Bajaj Auto could well revolutionise mass transportation in the country.

In 2008, Bajaj had showcased a small concept car, but had later decided not to go ahead with it.

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Image: Rajiv Bajaj, managing director, Bajaj Auto, with the newly launched RE60.
Photographs: Courtesy, Bajaj Auto

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In a media release, Bajaj said that the car has been developed in house. 'This new 4-wheeler is going to set a global benchmark in CO2 emissions -- an unbelievable 60 gm/km -- and deliver an amazing mileage of 35 kmpl,' the release claimed.

The RE60 has body coloured bumpers and funky wheels. The interiors have a central speedometer cluster, folding front windows, a 44-litre boot space, 95-litre under seat storage and seatbelts in the cabin.

The car's engine is a new water-cooled DTSi 4 (Digital Twin Spark Ignition). The car has been designed and developed by Bajaj Auto.

More about RE60

  • Low emissions: CO2 -- 60gms/km
  • Highest Mileage: 35 km per litre
  • Maximum Speed: 70 kmph
  • Turning radius: 3.5 meters
  • Overall length: 2752 mm
  • Overall width        : 1312 mm
  • Overall height: 1650 mm
  • Seating capacity: 2+2 or 1+3

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Image: The new RE60 from Bajaj Auto.
Photographs: Courtesy, Bajaj Auto

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Over the past many years, the need for greener automobiles has invariably been echoed with a call for more time for technology development, more subsidies for sales and more investment in infrastructure.

"At Bajaj Auto, we believe the people of this planet deserve much better, much faster" says, Rajiv Bajaj, managing director, Bajaj Auto.

"We, therefore, decided to focus our efforts on developing vehicles powered by engines using available natural resources and infrastructure.

"We are very excited with the outcome of our efforts and, in the RE60; we believe we have an excellent solution for the mobility challenges arising from the rapid urbanisation of India," he added.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Bajaj Auto

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Bajaj unveils small car RE60; may price it at Rs 125,000!

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Commenting on the potential of the vehicle, he said the company expects a big growth opportunity by targeting the three wheeler segment.

Bajaj, however, did not share sales targets for the new product but said opportunities are not only in the domestic market but overseas as well.

"We make about 520,000 three-wheelers a year of which only 200,000 are sold in India and rest exported. So we see markets like Sri Lanka, which could be the first export market has huge potential for RE60," he said.

Asked about the association with Renault-Nissan alliance, Bajaj said: "They have not seen the product yet and will be seeing it at the Auto Expo. Once they see it, we will decide the way forward."

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Photographs: Courtesy, BS Motoring

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As per an agreement with the Renault-Nissan alliance, BAL was supposed to develop and manufacture the vehicle and sold under the badge of the alliance.

In January, 2008 BAL had unveiled its concept passenger car with an expected price of USD 3000. It had partnered Renault-Nissan for the ultra low cost (ULC) car project.

The ULC was first scheduled to hit the roads in India in 2011, but was delayed due to differences between the partners on pricing and design.

While Renault-Nissan wanted to price the car at around $2,500, Bajaj insisted on lowering the overall cost of ownership.

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Image: The Bajaj small concept car that it showcased in 2008.


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Bajaj unveils small car RE60; may price it at Rs 125,000!

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In 2010, Renault-Nissan announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Bajaj Auto to take forward their ULC car project.

As per the MoU, design, engineering, manufacturing and supply base expertise for the ULC would be executed by Bajaj with the support of the alliance, while branding, marketing and selling will be by Renault-Nissan.

Bajaj said if the Renault-Nissan alliance wants, they can choose and BAL can manufacture the RE60 with design modifications to sel under their brand.

"They have not seen the product yet. They have seen only on virtual media. They will see it in Auto-Expo. If they are disinterested in the four wheeler they are free to walk away," Bajaj said.

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Image: The Bajaj small concept car that it showcased in 2008.
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera/Rediff.com

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Bajaj unveils small car RE60; may price it at Rs 125,000!

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He said, "In the RE60, we have an immediate solution to pollution that doesn't need new infrastructure, huge subsidies or time."

The media release said that the key technological and design innovations of the RE60 that have resulted in the amazing emission and mileage figures are:

  • A light weight yet robust monocoque Metal-polymer hybrid structure
  • Water cooled DTSi 4 valve engine with a closed loop fuel injection system for   high performance and amazing fuel efficiency.
  • Minimizing frictional and transmission losses.

Rajiv Bajaj stressed "We are presenting an optimized solution for intra-city passenger transport. This vehicle has been designed for intra-city use, keeping in mind the intra-city duty cycles and safety requirements."

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Image: Rahul Bajaj.
Photographs: Rediff Archive
Tags: RE60 , Bajaj

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R C Maheshwari, president, commercial vehicles, Bajaj Auto Ltd, said "The vehicle presents a small, simple solution to combat pollution and inflation. It does not need investments in infrastructure, does not need subsidies and does not need time."

"It retains a small footprint -- nearly the same as our autorickshaw, is highly manoeuvrable and can keep pace with the moving traffic. At the same its limited top speed makes it intrinsically safer for pedestrians, cyclists and two wheeler riders," he added.

"The front and rear seat belts, doors and hard top are its other features"

"Not only are the CO2 emissions remarkably low, its CO, HC and NOx emissions also are much lower than the Euro IV norms for cars less than 2,500 kg," he said.

He said, "Our RE brand has, for years, stood for affordable transportation for its passengers and instant livelihood for its owners. Values that have made it the world's number 1 brand in its category. RE60 will continue with this tradition." 


Image: Rajiv Bajaj.
Photographs: Rediff Archive

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