Praise for Bolt’s safety rat­ing

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - ALWYN VILJOEN

WHEN the Bolt launched in 2015, Wheels was im­pressed by the trust its im­porter, Ac­cor­dian In­vest­ment, placed in the fru­gal con­sump­tion by chal­leng­ing the me­dia to see how light their right feet can be.

Glen Hall of the Cit­i­zen achieved 4,1 l/100 and Stu­art John­ston, who writes Wheels’ kart­ing re­ports, got 4,7 l/100.

But these two wily old hacks only drove the Bolt us­ing its gut­less eco mode.

I drove the Bolt with a combination of nor­mal and eco mode, to record what Kyri Michael, CEO of Ac­cor­dian In­vest­ments, de­scribed as the Bolt’s nor­mal con­sump­tion: 5,4 l/100. There is no lag on the turbo in the Bolt and the lit­tle 1,2 en­gine’s 140 Nm come in be­tween 1 500 and 4000 rpm for a very en­joy­able drive. This means any care­ful driver will get over 20 km from each litre of fuel in a Bolt, a claim that can­not be made by many of the Bolt’s com­peti­tors that sell for un­der R160 000.

Back then, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor at Im­pe­rial Group, Manny da Canha, pre­dicted South Africans would in­creas­ingly buy­ing down from B to A seg­ment cars, but they still want all the bells and whis­tles, which is why he en­dorsed Ac­cor­dion In­vest­ments im­port­ing the Tata Bolt.

Then came a flood of pub­lic­ity about au­to­mo­tive safety in the lower end cars, and Tata last week is­sued a state­ment to point out the Bolt en­joys a four-star safety rat­ing from Global NCAP, thanks to two front airbags and has anti-skid brak­ing (ABS) as part of the Bolt’s com­pre­hen­sive list of stan­dard equip­ment.

Com­ment­ing on the Tata Bolt’s four-star rat­ing, David Ward, the sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the Global NCAP said: “It is en­cour­ag­ing to see a ma­jor In­dian brand like Tata im­prov­ing the safety of their mod­els.”

Michael said the Bolt is equipped with ninth gen­er­a­tion Bosch ABS for the disc/drum brak­ing sys­tem with elec­tronic brake dis­tri­bu­tion (EBD), in­clud­ing a cor­ner-brak­ing fea­ture.

“As the name sug­gests, the Bolt sedan and hatch ex­ude ex­cite­ment and en­ergy and are wor­thy ex­am­ples of Tata Mo­tors re­cently-launched ve­hi­cles.

“The strat­egy is to in­tro­duce sev­eral new prod­ucts over a fiveyear pe­riod to sig­nif­i­cantly grow the com­pany’s market share in­ter­na­tion­ally,” said Michael.

Tata said it has now re­tailed more than 65 000 cars and light com­mer­cials in South Africa since 2004, and it is em­bark­ing on an en­er­getic pro­gramme to re­new Tata’s brand aware­ness lo­cally as well as put­ting in­creased fo­cus on qual­ity af­ter-sales ser­vice. — WR.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

The Tata Bolt un­der­oging a full frontal smash in the Global New Car As­sess­ment Pro­gramme (NCAP), which tests the me­chan­i­cal pro­tec­tion pro­vided in new cars.

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