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Bajaj RE60 spied testing

  • Nov 17, 2014
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[caption id="attachment_13314" align="alignnone" width="1024"]The Bajaj RE60 spied testing The Bajaj RE60 spied testing[/caption]

In a latest development, Team Gaadi has caught Bajaj’s RE60 ‘quadricycle’ doing test rounds nearby the company’s production facility at Chakan, Pune. Showcased first at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo, the RE60’s launch in India has been delayed for numerous reasons. First of which was its classification as a vehicle under the Central Government regulations. While the government has finally given Bajaj and the RE60 a go-ahead in May 2013, surprisingly, the RE60 is yet to be seen in our market. With the test mules of the RE60 back on roads though, we expect Bajaj to make an announcement on the launch-date of the much-delayed ‘quadricycle’ anytime soon.


Since Bajaj first revealed its plan of launching the RE60 in India, the company had to face lot of hurdles to make way for the product. At the time of its unveil in 2012, there wasn’t a separate category for quadricycles in India. Legally, the RE60 could not be classified as a car, or an alternate to it. Bajaj, too, affirmed to this fact and insisted that it is more of a viable upgrade to the current 3-wheeled auto-rickshaws, which are a tad too unsafe for its occupants compared to a 4-wheeler. This meant the RE60 neither classified as an auto-rickshaw nor as a car. As a result, a whole new ‘quadricycle’ category was to be devised under the Central Motor Vehicles Rules.




[caption id="attachment_13315" align="alignnone" width="1024"]The Bajaj RE60 spied testing The Bajaj RE60 spied testing[/caption]

In May 2013, the government approved a draft notification that allowed use of quadricycles strictly for commercial purpose. Since the RE60 is unable to reach speeds of 90 km/h, the draft clearly mentioned that it can only be used for transporting people as well as goods for intra-city and non-highway commutes. Under the new set of rules for the quadricycle category, the vehicle must have a fully-enclosed body with a steering wheel. It also states that the quadricycle to be used for transporting people should not weigh more than 450 kg when empty and 550 kg if it's to be used for carrying cargo goods.


The quadricycle norms also make it compulsory for the vehicle to have a hardtop roof, 4-doors and a windscreen wiper as standard fitment. As you can see in the pictures shown here, Bajaj has taken care of that aspect so as to meet with the desired requirements. Inside, the vehicle will be a 4-seater with a seating configuration of ‘1+3’. The RE60 will come equipped with an integrated digital fare meter in the dashboard alongside a centrally mounted speedometer console with a gear-shift lever that sits right below it.


 




[caption id="attachment_13316" align="alignnone" width="600"]The Bajaj RE60 interiors The Bajaj RE60 interiors[/caption]

Under the bonnet, the Bajaj RE60 will have a 216cc liquid cooled, fuel injected, 4-valve petrol engine as its power source. The engine will also feature Bajaj's triple spark ignition technology. Power output of the engine is claimed to be around 21PS. Power transmission duties will be carried out by a five speed manual gearbox. Weighing in at around 400kg, the mileage of the vehicle is claimed to be in the region of 37km/l or above, which will prove out to be crucial factor in its sales among owners.


Initially, Bajaj plans to churn out 5000 units per month of the RE60 once it goes on sale. The vehicle is likely to be offered in CNG and LPG compatible versions as well. Prices, while undeclared, are speculated to be between Rs 1.50 lakh and Rs 2.50 lakh.


That said, there are still a lot of road-blocks on the way before the RE60 makes it to the showrooms. As per recent speculations, Bajaj was to finally launch the RE60 in November 2014. However, three separate PILs (Public Interest Litigations) were filed in high courts in Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and Karnataka asking the government not to include quadricycle category in Central Motor Vehicles Rules Act. While the Delhi High Court has refused the plea on stay allowing the inclusion of quadricycle as a category, the case in Andhra Pradesh has been withdrawn already. The only roadblock in the way of the RE60 is the pending decision from the Karnataka High Court now.

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