A big hi from Goa, where 50 bloggers from India are with me live- blogging about our just-finished test drive of the new Tata Zest which promises to #zestupyourlife
|pic via Zuri|
The Tata Zest is a game-changing new car from Tata Motors. Driving it in Goa amid the greenery, the gushing rivers and the awesome hide and seek between the sun, the clouds and the rains was refreshing.
I test drove both the Diesel ATM and the petrol versions and I was floored!
This car is a winner with 29 first in segment features for the sedan category in India!
This car will stun you with its clean lines and path breaking design. A new signature grille, power bulge, strong shoulder lines, rear sling shot line, projector head lamps LED tail lamps, and chunky alloy wheels are all the outcome of a design initiative that TATA undertook across 3 design studios in Pune and abroad, including one in Turin, Italy.
I had the pleasure of interacting with the car’s interior designer Shilpa Bandhopadhyay, and on an extremely informative one on one session she took me through her design ideas, and the way she chose the beautifully fitting upholstery that speaks of both class and comfort.
|Designer Shilpa Bandhopadhyay talking about the car’s interior details like the careful selection of upholstery fabric|
“A bit like home interiors, but not so complicated,” says Shilpa.
Shilpa, who is an NID graduate enlightened me on quite a few facets related to her job. She told me that a car’s upholstery usually comes in shades of grey, black or cream. And the designer always aims to zero in on fabric that is durable, attractive yet not overly distracting. Hmm food for thought!
Siva Sankar Aittili from the design team explained the exterior design process and took us through the design blueprints for the car’s exterior. Easily one of my more interesting accounts with an auto designer!
|Brilliantly talented Siva Sankar Aittili spoke about the actual design of the car’s body, and shared his ideas from inception to finish on a sketch pad! How awesome!|
The company also revamped its engineering ideas and the performance of the car is true to its promises. The multi-drive modes were what I was looking forward to experience the most during the test drive. From the default City Mode I switched onto the EcoMode and enjoyed the smoothest drive of my life! The engine seemed incredibly harmonious and zesty, and my co-passengers had the time of their lives in Goa’s dreamy monsoon weather.
My co-driver later drove and tested the third mode – the Sport Mode which took us beyond any road experience we have had by far! Truly revolutionary!
The engineering team who we had the pleasure of interacting with, told us they worked on bringing the amazing vision to life with pioneering safety features, REVOTRON 1.2T engine, a max power of 90 PS on a 140Nm torque, an electronic brake force, Gen9 ABS, 15 inch Alloy wheels and a Dual path suspension to name a few of their DriveNext engineering features. Incidentally, the Zest will lead a bevy (yes, I insist on saying bevy because the new design makes these cars beauties) of cars to come out of the Tata Stable with the new look, futuristic design and engineering.
How would you like your car, yes your car, to send an “I’m busy now driving”, or similar message to your caller?
The Tata Zest has awesome connectivity features such as the one above, BlueTooth, SMS readouts, FATC controls touchscreen. A new 5-inch infotainment system designed by Harman/Kardon as well as the audio acoustics system. MapmyIndia has designed the next-generation navigation and location based services for the new cars. Other key features include drive by wire technology for better engine response.
The Tata Zest promises to be a sedan like no other on Indian roads.
Would I buy the new Tata Zest? Yes!
If you knew what I know about the Zest, you would too!
This car is slated to come with an extended warranty period, and several other buyer perks. A little Tata-bird also hinted that they might have an extended annual maintenance scheme, free round the clock road assistance, and more!
When I drove it, I loved the responsiveness of the engine, and as I mentioned earlier the drive modes were fantastic feature add-ons! The interiors were comfortable, roomy and stylish, but not swanky and plush – just the way I like it!
With 2 kids usually in the back seat of my car on long drives and highway trips, I was pleased to hear of the impressive safety measures, the use of baked hardened steel (not all cars use this material), and that the car meets not just Indian but quite a few international safety measures. There are also some futuristic features such as dual SRS air bags.
The Tata Zest price?
I don’t know for sure but there were definite indications at the event that despite its mind-blowing features never-seen before in an Indian mid-sized sedan model, the car will be priced on par with other cars in this segment such as the Xcent, Dzire and Amaze.
The reports from the car review experts range from cautiously excited to unbridled delight, and I am particularly happy with the mileage reports they share. And, if Narain Karthikeyan is endorsing it, and has also collaborated with the company during production, I think that’s good enough! 😉