Thursday, January 15, 2015

Bolt: The Zesty Level Up...

“Boy! Oh Boy”- I literally had to shove ‘them’ aside as I struggled to barge in; it was quite a ‘combat’ this….the “red riding hood” in the world of automobiles had already made a remarkable entry it seems. Ah! I’m not good at ‘building suspense” and for obvious reasons I won’t make an attempt either- yes I’m talking about the all new stunning Tata Bolt that has made its presence felt even before the official ingress; it sure promises to be a sparking debut. Even when I’m tempted to use a metaphor, it goes without saying that I, in effect, turned out to be as rhapsodic as the group of aficionado’s who had flocked in from different parts of the city with a common agenda- to grab a first-hand view of the brand new Tata Bolt even before it released in the market. “Mind-blowing” is the word because I overheard the (Avani Riverside Mall, Howrah) mall-supervisors discussing that this was perhaps the biggest crowd they have witnessed in the last 6 months or so; that too, mostly concentrated at the ground floor. Staggering indeed! “Are there any Bollywood celebrities around?” – Haha, well that random little kid standing right beside, perfectly ‘divulged’ my state of mind…such was the glitz, such was the anticipation, as if something prodigious was about to be unveiled..!

Bolt, the Zesty Level Up: The First Look at this wonderful piece of creation by Tata....
© Sammya Brata Photography
Honestly speaking, I would have never travelled so far from Calcutta, through the scuttling Dharmatala…traversing the second Hoogly Bridge, down to the Avani Mall had I not been a apart of elusive Zest Up Your Life experience at Goa, it did open the flood-gates for sure. While we were cruising through the “Goan Greens” in our Zest, I did rediscover myself; I did realize that I had ‘a thing or two’ for cars…nothing fancy or extravagant though, the ones that are gratifying both in terms of price as well as ‘contentment factor’. It goes without saying that Tata Zest scored a whopping 9/10 in both the segments and its ‘level-led up rendition’ – the Tata Bolt promised to deliver a lot more. In-fact, my dad happened to read my ‘zesty’ review post and seemed to be extremely impressed with its all-round lineaments…I bet that he is already considering the prospect of booking our first family car by the end of this month. I remember the uncharacteristic trepidation in voice when he called me right after I posted the review on my blog, something was “cooking” was sure. He sincerely wanted to come with me for the “Bolt Preview Visit” but then his colleague’s untimely call held him up for a longer period than expected; he promised to join me in course….but I knew that’s not gonna happen.  His eyes had lit at the very prospect of taking a test drive in the all new Bolt; it’s a completely new experience for him…not to be.

“Why are you dressing up as if you are heading to party?”- Mom seemed to be quite bemused seeing my ‘illustrious’ garb. I was totally in the mood for sure.
“I’m going to see THE Bolt mom, as in…’THE Bolt’!!”- I exclaimed, as I pulled out the army jacket from the closet; it was a cold, murky Sunday in Calcutta…perhaps not the best weather to go out for a photo-walk, but certainly a good setting for indoor shoots.
“Is this a variant of what you drive in Goa? Your dad seemed to be quite interested in that one…and are you going to write about this as well?”- Oh well! Mom is always on the money, she picks up clues so well.
“Yep…exactly!! Wanna come along?”- I insisted.
“Of course, if you promise to treat me with some chocolate cupcakes thereafter….”- She grinned-“And when did you start blogging about Cars and Automobiles?”- She knew that I've been a Food Blogger for the major part of my blogging tenure…it’s natural that such a digression made her curious.
“Haha, get ready ASAP…you’ll know soon…”- I smirked. So the Bolt-expedition opened another gateway; I got an unexpected chance to spend an evening with mom...I'll be honest... it’s been quite a while since our last 'one-on-one-date'. Thanks Blogadda.

Bolt, the Zesty Level Up: The First Look at this wonderful piece of creation by Tata...
© Sammya Brata Photography
The Zesty Experience- Get.Set.Bolt.....

The 5 Zesty Attributes of Bolt that have impressed me....
The First Impression: “Oh my God, this looks so vibrant”- My trance broke as mom’s characteristic intonation reverberated across the over-crowded mall…yes, she is talented in a number of ways. LOL.
But then yes, she made perfect sense here…the initial impression that it generated was indeed very promising; the colour red does send in positive vibes for sure. The ‘machine’ looked extremely suave from the outer; and I was already comparing it with the blue hatchback counterpart in Zest that we drove in Goa. And frankly speaking, there is nothing to choose between the two, the only difference in this case was perhaps the gracious grille and the chatoyant stretched headlights that catches the attention in the very first glance; we do talk about “fog-lights” these days and with the upcoming tour to Darjeeling in prospect, the inclusion does make all the more sense. Also appreciate the fact that the customary Christmas Tree Lamps have been done away with and the contemporary fancy posterior tail lamps have been included- it’s a refreshing change for sure. The automatic wipers have also been ameliorated primarily to facilitate the ease of driving…however, in my opinion, they do contribute immensely to the overall “squint-factor” as well; Bolt is no exception. The wheel-base of 2470 mm is commendable as well; the 15-inch Bridge-stone Alloy wheels serve as the “right shoes to drive on”.. Shoes solve issues, don’t they? The fact that these alloy wheels grip better on any surface, you do know that this is quite an engineering marvel…perhaps it’s a glorious collaboration between technology and vogue; of course with Tata’s ‘idiosyncratic touch’ as the backbone. Must say, super impressed. Verdict: 8.5/10

Bolt, the Zesty Level Up: The First Look at this wonderful piece of creation by Tata
© Sammya Brata Photography
The inner anatomy: “Looks brilliant in the overall perspective…and now, let’s zoom in”- I knew that mom had that photographic bend of mind; I was expecting this. And frankly speaking, she did hit the nail hard…it’s almost imperative that the “blistering start” should transpire into a “consolidation period”; it promised to be a tough examination for sure. But again, the opening shot after the break was right out of the ‘middle of the blade’- if the Tata Zest is the perfect “Car on a road-trip”, then the Bolt can safely be termed as the “Holiday Specialist”; consider a boot space of more than 200 liters that could further be leveraged with the flexible seating contour…it's surely going to solve the issues related to “space-crunch” on a longish vacation.

Bolt, the Zesty Level Up: The Beautiful Exteriors of Tata Bolt...looks delightful indeed
© Sammya Brata Photography
“The dark interiors look very elegant, and take a look at the space inside…amazing”- She summed it all in a jiffy as the front door was opened. Yep, the interior is cavernous for sure…in-fact, as per the demonstrator, it perhaps ranks number 1 in terms of seating space among st all the hatchback counterparts…and that for me is decisive. In case of long distance travel (or perhaps long hours of travel…especially in metro cities where we spent more than 60 percent of our travel time in traffic jams) this is an attribute that makes life simpler for the chauffeur as well as the ride. Furthermore, the accommodating and flexible nature of driver’s seat (via the inclusion of an adjustable lever) that caters to the ‘person-specific-height’, is another innovation ingrained into the system. By the way, there’s a high possibility that a physician or a gym trainer might have been consulted before designing the interior because the tilt adjustable feature steering wheel is another revelation, thereby taking care of the posture and the related ergonomics while driving. The rugby seats (60:40 split and fold that increases the space inside the car) are extraordinary inclusions, keeping the coziness factor in mind. The back-seats, with an added bit of bolstering and sufficient knee space, enhance the degree of luxurious gratification; come on…we do know that historically, a lot of enchanted stories have ‘brewed up’ in the back-seat, glad to know that Tata respects the fact ;) I can sense that some of you are already contemplating the possibility of a candle light dinner in the back-seat…not a bad idea though! P.S. That, my friend, takes the average total carrying capacity to 5, which is indeed a very lucrative prospect for sure. Verdict: 8/10
There’s a lovely parity between the judiciously designed outer half and it's extremely spacious inside, that is the perfect example of a 'new flanged creation'- it's like a technological-prophecy...the confident dynamism is a proclamation in real sense....!!!

Bolt, the Zesty Level Up: The Beautiful Exteriors of Tata Bolt...looks delightful indeed
© Sammya Brata Photography
The Technology interface: I wrote in my Zest review post that “Perhaps there's "life" nested in the quiescent piece of genius that almost molds as if in sync with the driver's thought-process” and my word… here’s nothing that I would like to change in there. In-fact, driving as an “experience” has taken long strides forward (as a logic way-forward with the envisaged three-tier architecture viz. DesignNext, DriveNext and ConnectNext in Tata Zest) with the addition of a 5-inch ConnectNext Touchscreen Infotainment System specially designed by the iconic brand HARMAN™ that facilitates connectivity in almost all forms including USB drives and Bluetooth integration. The sound system is fantastic as well; they were playing Pitbull’s “Give me everything tonight” at that point of time and the sound quality was amazing. Furthermore, it syncs well with all the modern smartphones, be it iPhone, Android or Windows…it paves the way for seamless navigation on the drive. I’d specifically talk about the “MapMyIndia” smartphone app that works perfectly well in this direction and eases the driver’s job in hunting down remotest of locations in the city; the voice command recognition technology is an added cherry to the cake. The only regret I had was that I didn’t get to know whether the “SMS read out” facility has been included in the Bolt as well…loved that feature in Zest. There are gadgets that send in live-on-the-drive data to the chauffeur and the display (clutter-free data) has been kept to the simplest of level. Overall, the Bolt amalgamates comfort with the bliss of technology to ‘elevate’ your ‘life on the drive’. Verdict: 8.5/10

Bolt, the Zesty Level Up: Tata Bolt, amalgamating comfort with the bliss of technology
© Sammya Brata Photography
The Impregnability Factor: “How safe is it?”- Was the lingering question in our mind and it made a lot of sense because of the regular news of on-road-debacles; it isn’t safe enough to drive freely on the Indian roads unless and until if you that “virtual insurance” in mind…and that to some extent is the maker’s responsibility as well. We had to ‘extract’ that mode of assurance before passing a final verdict….and Tata, like always, had an answer. “Ma’am, the Bolt comes with a 9th Generation Anti-Lock Braking System that is specially designed by Bosch that maintains tr-active contact with the pitch when the driver brakes suddenly…it’s an advanced mode of preventing accidents due to drift or skid.”- The demonstrator sounded re-assuring with his response. Phew!!!

Bolt, the Zesty Level Up: Tata Bolt, the 'esteemed' 15 inch Bridge-stone Alloy Wheels...
© Sammya Brata Photography
Yes, the ABS should be a proverbial inclusion in all modern day vehicles considering the deplorable condition of the roads as well as rash driving; it enhances a drivers control in true sense of the term. The Bolt has disc brakes in the front and drum brakes in the rear half. The electronic brake force distribution (preventing wheel lock up) and corner stability control (ensuring better driving experience in negotiating corners or sharp bends) are the other prime features from the safety point of view. The Dual SRS Airbags are of course the adversity restrainers that are fabricated to protect the passengers, ‘to hold them back’ in case of accidental head-on-impacts. The fact that Tata has designed a comprehensive “protection system” also proves their adherence to 'social responsibility standards'; they are genuinely concerned about the safety of their buyers…!! Verdict: 9/10

Bolt, the Zesty Level Up: The interiors...comfortable seating arrangement in the Bolt...
© Sammya Brata Photography
The Core: Oh well, that brings me to the fundamental question…”What could be the rationale behind the coronation Bolt?”
The answer is pretty much simple; a car that has been modelled on a hypersonic personality, must a have a strong, durable or rather “Athletic” core. Tada!! ‘Athletic’ is the key word… and the Revotron 1.2 Turbocharged MPFi engine, with 90PS @ 5000RPM with a 140 N-m torque (and 4 cylinders) is the ideal explanation. It puts forward a “Power packed” performance irrespective of how or where you drive; the multi-point fuel injection system is a huge boost considering a full throttled ride. It lives up to its name for sure. The fuel efficiency is presumably amicable as well. I did talk about the 3 modes of driving while reviewing the Zest and understandably they have all been included in Bolt, with more power to the Sports mode for sure; of course it meant for a smooth, charismatic, care-free driving experience on the “boulevard of broken dreams”. The Eco mode is effectively a conservative mode (helps in crisis situations when you are running low in fuel) while the City mode is, in effect, a judicious middle-class-by-default-mode-of-operation (not to be taken literally though: D)..choose as you wish, my friend. Verdict: 8.5/10

Bolt, the Zesty Level Up: The First Look at this wonderful piece of creation by Tata
© Sammya Brata Photography
Oh Hello!!!
“Hey!! Did you bring your driving license?”- Mom (yet again) broke my trance.
DAMN!!! I should have been more careful with this one, the mere prospect of ‘seeing the Bolt’ was overpowering enough. I could have taken a test drive then and there itself…that could have completed the entire exercise. Not to be.
“No worries, Sir…you can book a test drive directly by visiting our official website. At your service”- The demonstrator turned out to be a savior for sure. I wasn’t done yet, though.

“How about taking a picture with the Bolt? Here’s the camera…”- And I promptly passed on the camera. That was the plan. ;)

Bolt, the Zesty Level Up: First Look at this wonderful piece of creation, and my pose with the beauty ;)
© Sammya Brata Photography

Question for my readers- Now that you have read through my experience, it's time to test your prediction skills. Predict the price of the all new Tata Bolt before it is official released in the market. Send in your guesses in the comments section folks!
* This post is a part of the Get. Set. Bolt. activity at BlogAdda.

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