Bajaj unveiled the not-car RE60 amidst much fanfare in 2012. We say not-car because Bajaj does not want anyone calling their quadricycle a car. You can check a report on that here. The Bajaj RE60 was on everyones mind but then it suddenly vanished from the news. What happened?
The Bajaj RE60 is a low cost, rear engined quad which had high hopes of beating Nano at its own game, not that the Nano ever won the game or even came close to winning it, but still. But a determined Rajiv Bajaj kept the project alive and kicking by devoting time and efforts on his and his teams behalf. In the meanwhile Bajaj had to convey the govt and other car makers who were protesting the apparent decision of whether quadricycles should be allowed to run on the road or no.
The car makers had a fair point saying this would reduce their margins and market share but they cleverly used reasons like passenger and driver safety norms. The Govt finally gave the go ahead and allowed quadricycles on road in December of last year and thats when the team at Bajaj heaved a sigh of relief.
The RE60 will not be available as a private vehicle but instead as a commercial vehicle to replace the rickshaw and go head-on against the Tata Magic Iris. The RE60 has a 200 cc DTS-i engine coupled to a 4-speed manual ‘box and along with body which weighs less than half a ton, the RE60 will squeeze 35 kms to the liter.
4wheelreviews has spotted the CNG version of the RE60 with green body color testing around Pune many times now. Apparently the company has also been testing a LHD version of the quadricycle for international markets. We like the fact that an Indian company is so serious about the domestic as well as the international market.
Bajaj will have the upper hand if it launches the RE60 soon as it already has a few competitors to look at. Piaggio is working on something based on the NT3 concept, Polaris, the ATV maker, has the Aixam quadricycle in the works after it acquired Aixam Mega Quadricycles in April of this year. Mahindra had also said it has not dismissed the idea of the a quadracycle and is always looking out for new segments.
Bajaj has readied nearly 2000 units of the RE60 in Auragabad plant. With another round of elections coming soon, the quadricycles will only ply on road later this year or early next year. The price the RE60 will be introduced at will be approximately 1.25 lakh.