The proof of the pudding is in eating it. Tata and Jayem, the two companies who have co-developed this car, seem to agree. So, the focus wasn't just on making the Tigor look more desirable in JTP clothing, but to make it desirable for the driving enthusiast as well.
Now, as we mentioned earlier, the engine is from the Nexon, but with even more power. The company has claimed a 0-100kmph time of 10 seconds, which puts it in the same league as the Baleno RS and faster than the Polo GT TSI. Also, this makes the JTP six seconds quicker than the standard Tigor petrol! We haven't tested the JTP ourselves yet, but, after having driven it, the 10 second figure feels completely believable. It does feel quick, the Tigor JTP.
Now, the JTP has two driving modes - City and Sport. In City, the Tigor JTP feels more alive than the regular car, then be it the mid or top range pull or the throttle response. But, switch to Sport, and it turns into a completely different car! Especially in the way it pulls from 3,000rpm almost all the way to its near 6,000rpm redline. It pleasantly surprises you. It makes you smile. And it makes you want the car.
The engine revs freely. The turbo lag doesn't feel so much like lag. In fact, it's more like a step up switch. A step up in performance that is. The gear shifts are light, precise, and the throws are short. And though there's a hint of delay in the car's response when you stamp on the throttle, once on, the throttle response is crisp and easy to modulate. Having said that, we did find it a bit jerky at times, especially at higher revs in a lower gear.
Back to the performance, and the Tigor JTP accelerates - be it from a standstill or under roll-on - with the vigour one can comfortably associate with a 100bhp plus car. In fact, the Tigor JTP gets deep into three digit speeds with ease. And sits there without effort as well. It feels planted, confident, and unwavering in a straight line, even at these high speeds. If there's one thing it needs though, it is better feel at the brake pedal, and a stronger brake bite.
Now, we didn't subject the JTP to hard cornering around a switchback, but we did go around fast, sweeping corners. We also made some quick lane change manouvres. And on both occasions, it was evident that the change in geometry resulting from altered suspension setup, has made the Tigor's front end a quicker responding one in JTP guise. It's still not a go-kart, but it makes the Tigor feel lighter, more responsive, and involving than the stock car.
The ride on the other hand is stiffer than the regular car, and the travel is marginally less as well. Not surprisingly, at slow speeds the car rides the bumps instead of flattening them. But, unless you hit a square-edged pothole, the ride never feels harsh. Then, at higher speeds - anything over 60-70kmph - the suspension comes into its own.
Be it undulating roads, pockmarked surfaces, or ruts and rumblers, the Tigor JTP simply glides over it all. And, it never really wallows, weaves, or washes out, no matter how unexpected or pronounced the bump or dip. But, it's the car's ability to come back to its steady state in lightning quick time instead of pogoing on its springs, that makes it special. Not, only does this add to the driver's confidence, it aids both comfort and safety. The latter comes to the fore when one has to make an evasive manoeuvre.
As far as steering goes, only the EPS has been recaliberated for weight. It's still a three turns lock-to-lock steering, so it isn't the quickest in the business. But, it proved to be effortless to twirl around in the city, and it weighed up enough at speed to cut out the twitchness. But, like the regular Tigor, this one doesn't brim with feel either.