The Tata Bolt is the Pune-based automaker’s new hatchback for the Indian market. Based on their X1 platform which underpins the Indica Vista hatchback, the Bolt too features an all too familiar silhouette but is a whole new animal in terms of features and overall design philosophy. It was unveiled at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo and is Tata's first launch for 2015 in the Indian automobile market.
The Bolt is an important product for Tata Motors and is a part of their business plan of launching new products till 2020. The manufacturer expects the hatchback to revamp the carmaker’s brand image and also help increase its market share in the Indian market.
The Bolt's design is a combination of the best ideas from three of Tata Motors’s design studios in Pune (India), Coventry (UK), and Turin (Italy). The company believes that they have created a new benchmark in the industry with the introduction of the new hatchback. The Bolt is also a part of Tata's HorizonNext strategy, with three aspects of DriveNext, DesignNext and ConnectNext, where each aspect stands for excitement, looks and connect respectively. The Bolt's new design language and attractive features are bound to attract the youth in India.
Though the silhouette might give an impression that the Bolt is similar to the Indica, the design philosophy is completely new. The fascia sports a new grille, revised headlamps with projectors, fog lamps and a revamped bumper. On the sides, the window lines swoop down in a curve towards the rear hatch which is now devoid of the Christmas tree lamps. However, what the rear does get are rounded edges and certain styling cues from slightly more premium cars. The Zest looks a little odd due to the compact sedan philosophy but the Bolt looks like a much more complete product. The new tail lights, high and low mount stop lamps, and a chrome grille are some of the features seen at the back of the vehicle.
The cabin features a white and black combination interior setup with seemingly premium plastics as well as gauges mounted behind the steering. The overall design and feature list is similar to that of the Zest compact sedan. The car still offers oodles of space like the Indica, but is a different breed altogether in comparison to the elder sibling.
The carmaker collaborated with MapMyIndia for the use of GPS navigation technology in the Bolt. The GPS navigation technology allows the navigation application in the user’s smart phone to sync with the Bolt's head unit. Apart from this, the top-of-the-line versions of the Bolt are equipped with a high-end Harman infotainment system that will also appeal to the tech-savvy youth. On the safety-front, the top-of-the-line variants are equipped with airbags and ABS with EBD and CSC as standard.
Engine and Gearbox
The Tata Bolt is available in both petrol and diesel engine options. The Revotron 1.2-litre turbocharged Multi-point Fuel Injection (MPFi) petrol engine produces 90bhp of power and 140Nm of torque. It features three multi-drive options that include Sport, City and Eco modes. The oil-burner is a 1.3-litre Quadrajet mill that churns out 75bhp of power and 190Nm of torque. We can expect the diesel AMT to arrive at a later date, but currently only the five-speed manual gearbox is offered on both the petrol and diesel models.
Price and Competition
The Tata Bolt now faces fierce competition in the domestic market from Maruti Suzuki Swift, Ford Figo, Hyundai i10, Nissan Micra, Renault Pulse and Hyundai Grand i10.
The variant nomenclature same as the Zest, which is new to this family of vehicles and runs across both petrol and diesel engine options- XE, XM, XMS and XT. We can expect an XMA trim to be launched at a later date which will be specific to the diesel model that will come mated to the five-speed AMT.
The Tata Bolt hatchback is available in a total of five colour options, namely, venetian red, pristine white, platinum silver, dune beige, and sky grey.