Bajaj Auto will soon start the sale of the much awaited Bajaj Qute quadricycle in Kerala and the northeastern states, according to a report from Moneycontrol. The company has received approval from the Supreme Court of India to sell the Qute in the country with some conditions.
Speaking to Moneycontrol, Kevin D'sa, President (Finance), Bajaj Auto Ltd. said, -
Permission of the Qute have come through, and we will start in the next few days. Technically Kerala is allowed to retail it so the initial plan is to send out 35-40 vehicles to all the dealerships so that registration process can be completed. But I would say that retails in the North-East and Kerala should commence next month.
That said, Bajaj Auto can only sell the Qute as a commercial vehicle under the new 'quadricycles' vehicle category in India. The Bajaj Qute was announced in 2012 and over the course of the past six years, the company has faced one hurdle after another to launch its four-wheeler in India. The Qute has been subject to several public interest litigations (PILs) that were filed against it by various entities to hinder the commercial launch of the vehicle.
The company has started dispatching the Qute to dealerships in Kerala and the North Eastern states of India. The official commercial launch will happen next month, while deliveries are expected to commence soon. Currently, Kerala and North Eastern states are the only regions to get the Bajaj Qute. However, Bajaj Auto is optimistic that the quadricycle will get approval for other areas.
Since the Qute is classified as a commercial vehicle, individual states need to provide approval for the commercial launch in the respective regions. Automobile manufacturers like Tata Motors and TVS Motor Company opposed to the sale of the quadricycle, citing crash safety concerns. That said, the Bajaj Qute will become the first quadricycle to launch in India once all the approvals are in place. The Qute platform is also ready to accommodate an electric powertrain, and Bajaj Auto is working on a battery operated version of the quadricycle.
Bajaj Auto envisions the Qute as an addition to the three-wheeler segment and feels it's a "complementary vehicle rather than a substitute vehicle." The company reasons that the quadricycle can be a massive success in areas like South Mumbai if allowed for sale. While the quadricycle is yet to go on sale in India, the Bajaj Qute is exported to Indonesia, Turkey, Latin America and others. Bajaj Auto has a production capacity of 60,000 units per annum for the Qute, which can be ramped up.
Powering the Bajaj Qute is a 216 cc, single-cylinder, four-valve engine with a closed loop fuel injection system. The liquid cooled engine can produce a maximum power of 13.2 PS and 20 Nm of peak torque, mated to a 5-speed sequential gearbox. The quadricycle has a seating capacity of four individuals (1 Driver and 3 passengers), while it delivers a fuel economy of 36 km/l.
The Qute has a top speed of 70 kph, while it measures at 2752 mm in length, 1652 mm in height, 1312 mm in width, and has a wheelbase of 1925 mm. The quadricycle tips the scales at 450 kg and receives a turning circle radius of 3.5 meters.