Manufacturers have perhaps realized that a camouflaged vehicle will grab attention like little else would. That explains why a car, already launched a couple of months back, is being tested on roads with a partial disguise. Oh, another small reason could be that the car in question in this story, the Tata Zest, could be the petrol ‘AMT’ variant!
Still, wouldn’t it be more subtle to just hide the badging on the boot (and elsewhere if it’s there) than to cover to 80 per cent of the body with attention-seeking material? That wouldn’t have grabbed the eyeballs now, right? Of course, we are not complaining; in fact, this is how readers get to snap it and send it across for the benefit of thousands of other readers. The point is, that if manufacturers really want to ‘hide’ something, they can easily go under radar.
Okay, this test vehicle was chased down by a Rushlane reader who says that the driver did not anything other than the car being a petrol. This conversation would have happened while in motion otherwise it would have been easier for the spotter to have checked out the gear lever to ascertain that it’s an AMT.
The Zest sedan is Tata’s most well-engineered car yet and it managed to get 10,000 bookings in the first 20 days; that’s better than even what Hyundai’s Xcent managed. The Zest at present is available with a choice of two engines, a petrol and a diesel. The 1.2-litre Revotron petrol engine produces 90 PS and 140 Nm and comes mated to a five-speed manual gearbox.
The 1.3-litre Fiat-sourced diesel, interestingly, comes in two states of tune in the Zest – 75 PS, 190 NM, and 90 PS, 200 Nm. However, while the 75 PS car comes with a five-speed manual, the 90PS Zest has been blessed with a five-speed AMT, which Tata refers to as ‘F-Tronic’ gearbox.
With sales of petrol-powered cars seeing a rise again in sales, Tata Motors wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity of adding a petrol-automatic at a competitor-upsetting price. Bring it on Tata; the time is indeed ripe!