Mr Bajaj’s plans of selling the RE60 through a tie-up with Renault-Nissan may have ended with Nissan pulling out of the project completely.
But being the ambitious chap that he is, Mr Bajaj is spearheading the RE60 by himself. The good chaps at Anything-On-Wheels have spotted a camouflaged RE60 during testing rounds in Pune.
Looking at the spyhots, we believe that this test car is a top variant because it dons alloy wheels. Although the RE60 was fully unveiled at the 2012 New Delhi Auto Expo, the test model still wears a full body camouflage. This could only mean that Bajaj may make some tweaks to the design of the production model.
The ‘RE’ stands for ‘Rear Engined’ and the 60 stands for the 60 g/km of CO2 that the "four wheeler" produces through its tailpipe. The RE60 will be powered by a 200cc, water-cooled, DTSi engine that delivers 15-20bhp with a top speed of 70kph. A small engine means that the real world mileage is expected to be 35kmpl.
Mr Bajaj has clearly demarcated that the RE60 is not a car but a three-wheeler with one extra wheel for stability. It is definitely not a Tata Nano rival because the Nano is for people who want to upgrade from a motorcycle whereas the RE60 is meant only for auto rickshaw drivers and their passengers.
The testing phase couldn’t have come at a better time with the Indian Government giving approval for a new segment with the name Quadricycles. This space is exactly where the RE60 fits in - between a three-wheeler and a passenger car. The Quadricycle segment is huge in developed European economies. Bajaj will clearly have a first mover advantage in this segment and we could see rivals from Mahindra, Piaggio and TVS if this segment goes mass market.
For now, there are 5 million Bajaj three-wheelers on the market and the RE60 plans to replace them with better features, safety and many more credentials.