Bajaj’s first foray into the four-wheeler market is currently steeped in controversy, but testing is going on nonetheless.
The company has clearly stated that the RE60 quadricycle is Bajaj’s effort to replace the autorickshaw. Caught testing near Aurangabad by Kedar Bindu, the RE60 was designed assuming the company would be able to push through less stringent rules for the quadricycle. Bajaj is of the opinion that vehicles in this class should not have to conform to the same safety norms as normal cars. The argument is that if Tata could manage to certify the Nano and meet the norms, there should be no roll back.
However, Bajaj claims the goal here is to promote safety and efficiency. It says the RE60 is safer than your everyday autorickshaw, and that it even emits lesser CO2.
The RE60 is constructed on a lightweight, metal-polymer monocoque, which keeps the vehicle’s kerb weight at just under 400kg. Power will come from a 200cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled rear mounted four-stroke DTS-i engine, which is good for approximately 20bhp.
The RE60 will come with a 2+2 or 1+3 seating layout option, a 44-litre boot and a top speed of 70kph. Its 2.75m length, 1.3m width and 3.5m turning circle radius should make it very good for manoeuvring in city traffic.
But, is Bajaj testing a safer version of the RE60?