Tata's new generation cars set 360 records in test

Days ahead of the launch of its new hatchback Tiago, Tata Motors said it had set 360 records involving three of its car models, as it sought to prove that its new generation cars namely Zest, Bolt and Tiago were durable, superior in technology than peers, and capable of withstanding intense endurance tests.

This was the first time that any Indian passenger carmaker had opted for such a gruelling test spread over 18 days of non-stop, high-speed drive on the 4.2 km-long, high-speed test track at National Centre of Automotive Testing, at the Vehicle Research & Development Establishment, a DRDO facility in Ahmednagar.

The endurance tests were conducted under scorching daylight temperatures and each car logged 50,000 km each at an average speed of around 120 kmph. Dr Tim Leverton, head, advanced and product engineering, Tata Motors told The Hindu, ''The cars performed well. We are very happy. Chairman Cyrus Mistry was present at the track to cheer the team on the last lap.''

As for the reason for undertaking an exercise of the kind, Leverton said, ''We wanted to do some thing which will prove the high performance of our new generation cars. We wanted to understand whether transformation that is happening at Tata Motors is working, and wanted to make a point that the cars are far better, and our customers should be proud to have them. I myself drove the cars on the test track and they behaved well.''

Tata Motors, the country's biggest auto maker, is pulling out all stops for upcoming small car Tiago, which is scheduled to be launched on Wednesday.

The Tiago which would compete against the likes of Hyundai i10 and Maruti Celerio, would be seen with two new engines, a 1.2-litre Revotron petrol and a  1.05 litre Revotroq diesel. The Tiago would bridge the gap between the Nano and the Bolt even as the aging Indica had been actively pushed for commercial buyers.

In addition to the petrol and diesel variants of the Tiago, petrol versions of the compact sedan Zest and premium hatchback Bolt were also made to do the drive.

According to Leverton though none of the cars experienced any technical problems or a breakdown there had been several learnings from the drive which would be useful for future product development.