Bolts prove real world frugality
FIVE Tata Bolts last week proved the little Indian car’s excellent fuel economy on a 2 100 km drive from Beit Bridge to Cape Agulhas.
Three of the five cars averaged less than 5 l/100 km, while all five cars used less than 120 litres of fuel for the trip. The car with the lowest fuel consumption needed only 92,4 litres of fuel for the long journey.
The cars were driven by four teams of motoring journalists and one team made up of Tata dealer personnel. The best performance was put up by the pairing of Wynter Murdoch (The Future Group) and Ferdi de Vos (Wheels24/Bakkie and Car). They averaged 4,4 litres/100 km and were rewarded with trophies.
Kyri Michael, CEO of Accordian Investments, the company in the Imperial Auto Group which distributes Tata passenger cars and light commercials locally, said the five cars were stock standard and the drivers were instructed to keep up with traffic by travelling between 90110 km/h.
“The drivers’ first objective was to achieve the best possible fuel consumption under the circumstances but the long drive also gave these journalists an excellent opportunity to evaluate the comfort and driveability of a Tata Bolt on a long and varied route that included all aspects of driving in South Africa.
“I am pleased to say that the drivers were very impressed with these latest newcomers to the range of Tata products we sell in South Africa.”
Michael said it was also interesting to note how road surfaces, wind, temperature and rain made a big impact on each car’s fuel economy.
The “Tata Bolt Challenge” competitors suggested 10 driving tips to ensure all-round fuel economy on a long trip: • Ensure that your tyre pressures are correct as per the manufacturer’s recommendation. • Make sure that your vehicle’s wheel alignment is correct. • A clean polished car pushes through the air better, so make sure you start your journey with a clean car. • If equipped with an “economy” mode like the Tata Bolt, make sure to select this mode as this will definitely improve your fuel consumption. • Be gentle with your right foot, with as little throttle input as possible. • Accelerate slowly and avoid driving in lower gears as much as possible. • Read the road at all times to ensure that you can carry as much momentum as possible, thus reducing time accelerating. • Always ensure that you have all the windows closed to reduce the drag. • Only use the air conditioner if it’s really necessary. • Good fuel economy is usually achieved at constant speeds of around a 100 km/h.
Journalists drove five Tata Bolt models across South Africa in a challenge to go the furthest on each litre of fuel. The small fleet averaged just over 20 km to a litre.