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Bajaj Qute Launched In India At Rs 2.63 Lakh — A Quadricycle Threat To Small Cars?

Stephen Neil

Bajaj has launched the Qute quadricycle in the Indian market at a starting price of Rs 2.63 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The Bajaj Qute has been made available in two variants - Petrol and CNG. The CNG-fueled variant is priced at Rs 2.83 lakh, Rs 20,000 more than the petrol variant.

The Bajaj Qute was first revealed in 2015 with Bajaj hoping to launch it as soon as possible. However, this process took longer than expected. Despite having an appearance that suggests it is a small car, Bajaj Auto insists that it is not.

According to the Indian auto giant, the Bajaj Qute is a quadricycle and is designed to be a safer and more comfortable replacement for three-wheelers. The quadricycle category of vehicles did not exist in the Indian market and there was a lot of going back and forth with the Indian government before the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways finally included quadricycle as a vehicle type in June 2018.

Bajaj Auto though was almost bullish about the prospects of the Bajaj Qute in India as the quadricycle has been on sale in a few International markets including Turkey and Indonesia for a while now.

The Bajaj Qute is available for both private and commercial use, therefore allowing private owners to use it as a cheap means of transport in crowded urban areas while existing auto-rickshaw owners now have a brilliant upgrade option.

The Bajaj Qute is powered by a liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, 216cc DTS-i engine. When fueled by petrol, it produces a maximum power output of 13.1bhp and a peak torque output of 18.9Nm. Fueling it using CNG drops the output considerably to 10.9bhp and 16.1Nm.

However, as expected, the CNG variant is more efficient and returns 43 kilometres per kilogram of compressed natural gas. The petrol variant has a claimed mileage figure of 35km/l. The engine is mounted at the rear and the rear wheels are driven via a 5-speed sequential gearbox that is controlled through the dashboard-mounted gear lever.

The top speed for the quadricycle has been limited to 70km/h which according to Bajaj is a safe limit. The company has further suggested its customers to avoid usage of the Bajaj Qute on expressways due to its low top speed.

The interiors of the Bajaj Qute is very basic and reasonably roomy. It comes with a basic music player and analogue instrumentation. The doors are made of fibre which helps keep the weight low. The Bajaj Qute weighs just 452kgs, which helps with performance and mileage.

Thoughts On Bajaj Qute Launched In India At Rs 2.63 Lakh

The Bajaj Qute according to Bajaj has not been targeted at entry-level cars but has been launched as an upgrade from three-wheelers. Well, even if it was really unintended, we see the Bajaj Qute eating into the sales of the base variants of small, entry-level cars such as the Maruti Suzuki Alto 800, Renault Kwid, etc.

Customers of these entry-level cars do not have safety as their priority and hence they would not mind the sheet metal and fibre construction of the Bajaj Qute. It remains t be seen, how India's first quadricycle is received in the market.

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