03 January 2012

Bajaj RE60 - a whole new meaning of basic transportation

Bajaj Auto has revealed the first detail of its basic motoring, the RE60 ahead of the opening day of Delhi Autoshow 2012. The "car" is set to be latest India's answer to the current needs for safe, convenient and economical form of modern transportation. So "out-of-the-box" is the concept that Bajaj MD, Rajiv Bajaj said the RE60 is not a car, but a "four-wheeler" transport. The concept was first shown in Delhi 2008 Auto Expo.

RE60 is constructed based on a monocoque metal polymer hybrid structure which contribute to lightweight 400kg overall kerb weight. The 4 seater is 2,752mm long, 1,312mm wide and 1,650mm tall. It has seating for four occupants. 
The dashboard is as basic as it can get, with central mounted meter. The gear level is mounted high up, just beneath the meter panel. As the RE60 is targeted primarily for commercial sector, the fare meter is integrated within the dashboard too. Speaking of the commercial sector, Bajaj Auto aimed to displace the three-wheeler auto rickshaw, but with an added safety in the forms of proper enclosed cabin.
Minimalist equipment, simple transmission, non-textured plastic drive the cost down. Door pocket taken care by the net
The no-frills cabin states the firm intent of low-cost, but sufficiently equipped where it matter the most. The dashboard for instance, has a storage space on both side of the meter. More storage space, suitable for auto rickshaw kind of storage, is within the cabin. With all seats up, and due to the rear-mounted engine, boot space is limited to meager 44L. However, further 7L is available under the hood. With rear seat folded, 400L is available (slightly less than the volume of enclosed Proton Saga BLM).
Flat seat, but belted. Notice flat metal panel to reduce tooling complexity and material susage, Basic door trim
The need to slash cost means that the side windows don't wind down. Instead, they are split in the middle, with the upper part flipped down. Just like our old days buses. Headrest are missing all around too. Other things deemed unnecessary include headlining and seat belt inertia reel. More photo and detail after the jump.

RE60 is powered by 200cc water-cooled single-cylinder DTSI engine. It can produced 20bhp. While it capable of returning 35km/L of fuel efficiency and emits just 60g of CO2 perkm, it also can speed the car up to  70 km/h. The engine is mounted underneath the rear seat.

On a different note, back in 2004/5, Proton has embarked on similar project. The car, codename simply a "T". The aim was really similar, to produce a low-cost motoring to cater the "Tut-tut" market in the region like Philippines, Indonesia and India. The "T" was meant to avoid stamping metal altogether in order to eliminate the need to expensive stamping tooling machineries. Instead the plan was to use a tubular space frame. Pity that the project was shelved back then. Now its seems that the previous Proton did has long-sighted views of future motoring. Just look at the Bajaj RE60 concept, or  MSX for the matter (look at BMW X6, Acura ZDX to name a few). While it was true they, at that time, did not produce the car the Malaysian masses need, but indeed, they have a better idea for the future. Ah well, I wonder if the current bunch of engineer, while busy-ing themselves preparing the "today" car Malaysian and global people need, do they think about future too?

Some more photos of Bajaj RE60 can be found below:

Untrimmed floor, noticed the exposed panel under the seat. Impressive idea for cost savings

Instrument included are those needed for driving, and nothing else. No extra charge to you then!



Rajeev said...

Niche marketing, don't judge by its colour and out look. If you are a car owner and comparing this with flashy cars around the world than you don't see any logic of its ordinary look. Think out of the box and put your self in place where you have a desire to have 4 wheels and tiered of travelling in 3 wheels. Market has over 300 million who thinks other side than having and expensive cars. At a typical Bajaj auto dealerships, I have witnessed a customer putting all his lifetime savings to have a 2 wheeler. I am sure Rajiv Bajaj has all those stats in his mind before launching this product. Good Luck BAL.

Anonymous said...

This car fairly looks good, well built, and will surely make the Indian auto market to dance. It's simply most secured way of transportation when it comes in commuting school children. Hope government banns the rickshaws for commuting school children at least now as they have an other option to think on.

indianist said...

Bajaj RE60 looks nice and it can surely replace the autos…..can think about buying one if I know the price for home use….