If there is a competition in testing upcoming vehicles, Mahindra’s Scorpio and Tata’s Zest are surely leading the pack with countless spy images surfacing on the net time and again. In these particular spy shots, our reader Sujith Kumar spotted the Tata Zest in Bangalore while on a break. This particular version carried regular headlights instead of the projector headlamps showcased on the prototype, while the grille was the same as shown at the reveal. The heavily camouflaged test mule also carried LED tail lights that give a sporty and premium appeal to the compact sedan.
Tata’s last minute testing before the impending launch in the coming months could be of the new AMT gearbox that will be available with the diesel variant. This will also make the Zest, the most affordable automatic diesel car in the country. The new F-Tronic AMT gearbox will be mated to the 1.3-litre Multijet engine with VGT producing 90 PS of power and 200 Nm of torque. Being an AMT gearbox, the company will be able to price the automatic variant more efficiently and seeing the kind of success Maruti’s Celerio is witnessing, Tata Motors is surely hoping to not fall behind with the Zest.
The Tata Zest will also get the new 1.2-litre Revotron petrol motor producing 85 PS of power and 140 Nm of torque. The cabin on the other hand will feature a host of goodies with several segment first features. You get the EPAC steering system, ABS with cornering stability function, 5-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Harman audio system, MapymyIndia navigation device and much more. The higher variants are expected to get projector headlamps and daytime running lights offered as standard. From what we saw at the reveal, the Zest promises better quality plastics and new use of materials.
The Tata Zest will be replacing the now very dated Manza in the segment and will be competing in the very competitive and profitable compact sedan segment which includes the Maruti Suzuki Swift DZire, Honda Amaze and the newly launched Hyundai Xcent. With the Xcent gaining positive reviews, Tata will have to pack the Zest as a very compelling buy with a very aggressive pricing strategy. The Zest compact sedan is slated for a June launch.