Both the Bajaj RE60 and DC Avanti have seen endless rounds of testing with a launch date not in sight. Even the companies producing these models seem to be in no urgency to launch them at present.
Indian manufacturers are an enthusiastic lot when it comes to showcasing new products and concepts. In recent times, automakers managed to come forward with some really interesting and inspiring models that would have done wonders for the company, had it hit the market in time. However, extensive development periods leading to unending slew of spy shots have only been the reason to keep these models in the news. Most famous in this lineup has been the Mahindra Mojo that is under development for five years and now it is the Bajaj RE60 and the DC Avanti that have joined the roster.
Starting with what would be the country’s first quadricycle, the Bajaj RE60 was showcased at the 2012 Auto Expo as a concept and faced a lot of issues ever since. The four-wheeler was criticised heavily by the four-wheeler world as a possible threat to entry-level cars and the government had to pass a proposal to ply quadricycles in the country as commercial vehicles. While the proposal was approved in October last year, Bajaj Auto is yet to launch the RE60 in the country that could be a potential replacement to three-wheelers.
Powered by a 216cc, 4-stroke, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine with triple-spark ignition technology; the Bajaj RE60 belts out 20 BHP of power and is paired to a 5-speed manual gearbox. The quadricycle will be available in regular as well as LPG and CNG options and a fuel efficiency of 35 km/l is expected on the regular version. With Bajaj concentrating on its upcoming line of motorcycles, it seems that the RE60 has been pushed to the back burner as of now and will see a launch later this year with a price tag around Rs. 2 lakhs (ex-showroom).
The other model spied was the long in the tooth DC Avanti first showcased at the 2012 Auto Expo in Delhi. While bookings for the Avanti have commenced, 450 units are already taken out of the first batch of 500. The country’s self-developed sports car though is still away from officially hitting the roads. The Pune-based manufacturer has been extensively testing the vehicle with the model more recently going through several changes including a different engine under the hood than the one shown on the prototype.
The production spec DC Avanti is powered by a 2.0-litre Renault sourced four-cylinder petrol engine tuned to produce 248 BHP, paired with a 6-speed manual transmission sending power to the rear wheels. The top speed has been electronically limited to 180 km/hr. DC had shown the concept and initial prototypes with a Ford sourced 2.0-litre EcoBoost mill that hasn’t made it to production and will use the motor from the French automaker instead. With a price tag expected close to Rs. 40 lakhs, DC is still making changes to its first mainstream offering that is expected to get lighter on the production model. A launch date is nowhere in sight, but is likely to come this year itself.