We’re on the Expressway, on our way back from Lonavala. I’m getting ready to take the sweeping hairpin. 80 km/h should be good. So I look down at the speedometer to check whether I need to go faster. 110! Sh*t… must slow down. Gaadi meri nahi hai.
That’s how responsive the new Revotron 1.2 liter engine of the TATA Bolt is. And not just the engine, the whole package delights. The steering and handling, the planted feel, the responsive brakes, roomy interiors… they combine to make this car worth the ₹ 4.5 lakhs it costs in Mumbai. The accessories are good too, though they don’t appeal to a non gadget freak who likes and dislikes vehicles based on their quality of drive.
|Image courtesy: Rohan|
Before our trip started, I saw the Bolt’s product manager Udit Khanna peering into an Audi R8 parked outside Café Infinito. His nose was almost stuck to its glass. Good sign - a product manager who is passionate about automobiles. We struck a conversation and I got a sneak peek into the vast knowledge Udit has… something that Inder, the brand manager, affirmed later.
Rohan, Monish and me were paired up together for the day, while Suchir would drive with us as our guide answering all questions about the car. Both Rohan and Monish pulled rabbits out of the hat. Rohan showed marvelous control on the Tata Bolt, effortlessly carving his way out of traffic with precision. And he didn't complain once, which means that the car was just as welcoming of his inputs. And while I knew no blogger at the event, Monish knew everyone. I simply tagged along with him hoping that people would speak to me too. And it worked.
We were allotted the Diesel Tata Bolt to begin with. Rohan took the wheel first. After driving through the mini track (read Rohan’s review here), we headed for Lonavala. The car responded well in traffic (surprising that we found some on a Sunday afternoon) and came into its own on the Mumbai Pune Expressway. Rohan drove at good speeds and the Bolt stayed stable and planted. The diesel car especially bolted forward with additional vigor after touching the 2,500 rpm mark. The exhaust note wasn’t spectacular (I know, I know… too much expectation) but the cabin was quiet. We could keep the stereo volume low and still hear it clearly while having a conversation in the car, which speaks volumes (no pun intended) about the level of car’s cabin noise.
I took the wheel after Food Mall on the Expressway. The diesel didn't really feel enjoyable… can’t quite put a finger on the reason. I stalled twice and felt like the steering was somewhat vague. Maybe it’s because the diesel has to be driven differently from a petrol vehicle and am used to the latter. Anyway, post lunch we got to switch to the petrol Bolt.
Boy, the Revotron engine responded instantly. She was in Eco mode (the petrol variant has 3 settings - Eco, City and Sport) and needless to say, I switched to Sport. The steering instantly felt more taut, the engine had more grunt and the car did her best to stick to the line I was trying to take. The winding road between Bushi Dam and Aamby Valley is my favorite in Lonavala.
Push the limits of the TATA Bolt was fun. The only parts of the car opposing, as if telling me to peg back, were the tyres. But they still held their own. Meanwhile, the rest of the vehicle wanted to know what I was made of. So I tried, and she responded brilliantly on the ghats section. We stopped at Tiger Point, clicked snaps and returned.
|(L-R clockwise): Suchir, Rohan, Monish and me with the TATA Bolt at Tiger Point, Lonavala|
It was a lovely event organized by Blogadda… seamless and hassle free. Anikta(s), Pooja, Anuja, Harish and the other team members were fabulous hosts, ensuring that no one felt any inconvenience. I met Ekta, Vaishakha, Deepak, Purujeet, Ankit, Omkar and other equally popular bloggers. Chatting with them was a whole lot of fun. It was a well spent at #BoltDrives with BOLT from TATA Motors in association with BlogAdda.
As I eat the chocolate fudge which I bought from Lonavala, I recommend the Tata Bolt if you want to buy a hatchback. Okay, I didn’t buy the fudge. Monish did, and forgot to collect it. What was I supposed to do? Waste a box of delicious chocolate fudge? Anyway, thanks Monish ;)