The Tata Zest has been spotted undergoing trials once again. Wearing a camouflage which shouts out the car’s identity, the Zest was snapped in Lavasa, near Pune. While many manufacturers try their best to hide their test mules from prying eyes, Tata has used this opportunity to market the car and slowly build up the hype around this sub-four-metre sedan. The Zest was unveiled in February, just before the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo along with its hatchback sibling, the Bolt.
The Tata Zest and the Bolt are based on a tuned version of the X1 platform which underpins the Manza and Vista. Both the cars have seen major cosmetic changes with inputs from Tata’s design studios in Pune, Coventry in the UK and Turin in Italy. The front of the Zest features an aggressive fascia with the redesigned bumpers and large wrap-around headlamps. The honeycomb radiator grille has a thick chrome slat on top of it and houses the company’s logo. The interior of the car has also been revamped and gets a more premium look.
We expect the car to continue using the current car’s diesel mill, while the petrol variants will get the new Revotron engine. The Fiat-sourced 1.3-litre Quadrajet diesel unit will be available in two states of tune, one producing 75bhp and 190Nm of torque, while the other, producing 90bhp and 200Nm of torque. The 1.2-litre Revotron turbocharged petrol produces 84bhp and 140Nm of torque. Gearbox options include a five-speed manual and a new AMT (automated manual transmission) unit, similar to the one used by Maruti Suzuki in the new Celerio hatchback.
Government regulations for these cars help manufacturers save on excise duty, which is reflected in the price of the car. The price tag of a premium hatchback and the practicality of a boot have resulted in this segment being quite popular among the masses. Rumours suggest that Tata will launch the Zest in a couple of months. It will compete with other sub-four-metre sedans like the new Hyundai Xcent, Maruti Suzuki Dzire and the Honda Amaze. Besides Tata, Ford is also planning to field its contender, the Figo sedan, in this fast-growing segment.