Bajaj Auto has announced an ultra-low cost car, the RE60. Although a comparison with Tata Nano is inevitable, the Chetak maker has made it clear that it is more interested in competing with three-wheelers.
The RE60 packs in a 200 cc petrol engine. The low cost vehicle will have a top speed of 70 kmph and the mileage will go up to 40 kmpl. Additionally, CNG and LPG variants of the RE60 are already in the pipeline. The manufacturer has stated that this eco-friendly vehicle's carbondioxide emission will not be more than 60 grammes per km.
The company will build the RE60 at its three-wheeler plant in Aurangabad. Bajaj is expected to ship the small car to Sri Lanka before releasing it in India. There's no official word on the pricing as of this writing, but it's said to be around 1.3 lakhs.
Interestingly, Rajiv Bajajcompared the company with Apple, stating that they "believe in making niche products". Gee, I didn't know cheaply made two-wheelers marketed to the lowest common denominator were considered niche products. Thanks for the clarification, Mr. Bajaj.
He also said that Bajaj is an "anti-car" company, and therefore insists on calling the RE60 a four-wheeler instead. With gaping wheel arches and bottle caps instead of tyres, I'm not sure I would be comfortable calling it a car either. It seems that the Tata Nano has nothing to worry about the not-a-car, since the latter will be targeted at auto-rickshaw drivers.