Currently reading: Tata to grow European business with Zest and Bolt
Tata compact hatch and saloon will receive their European debuts in Geneva ahead of a Continental launch

These exclusive Autocar pictures show the Tata Zest and Bolt, a compact hatchback and saloon which will go on sale in Europe after their planned launch at the Geneva motor show next week. The models will be sold through Tata's European network centred around Spain, Italy and Turkey, although the cars won't be on sale in the UK.

The Tata Bolt, a B-segment hatchback and the Zest, a compact saloon, are intended to inject more appeal into its model range. Both models are based on the previous Tata Vista’s X1 platform, but almost every body panel has been changed and both models have received extensive re-engineering.

The Zest is a booted version of the Bolt, but remains less than than four metres long to take advantage of Indian tax incentives to encourage the take-up of small cars.

For both models, Tata has adopted an electric power steering system developed by ZF. A new electrically assisted steering rack sits on a new subframe, the hard points of which have been optimised to minimise vibration through the steering column.

Other changes include new front suspension struts said to improve ride. A wider track is designed to improve stability.

The Bolt and the Zest both receive Tata’s new ‘Revotron’ engine. It's a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine which develops 84bhp. Tata says the engine has been tuned for drivability and almost 80 per cent of the max 103lb ft is available from 1000rpm. 

Tata says it adopted a 'soft' turbo to aid throttle response and provide a linear power delivery. The Revotron unit also features a 'Sport' mode accessed via a button on the dash that sharpens the engine response.

The diesel Zest and Bolt use a Fiat-sourced 1.3-litre MultiJet engine. The Zest is available with an automated manual transmission.

The cabin receives an entirely new dashboard which has an improved fit and finish, a long-standing criticism of Tata's models. A touchscreen infotainment system developed in conjunction with Harman is offered, featuring voice-controlled operation, navigation and, in time, the ability to stream apps from a smartphone. 

The launch of the new models signal the firm's intent to stem its plummeting sales, which are at an all-time low.

Read more Geneva motor show new.

Ouseph Chacko, Autocar India

Join the debate

Add a comment…
optima 24 February 2014

TATA are missing the bus again

These could start a sub brand CITY ROVER in Europe aiming at the sub/city car sector and then add in time bigger cars with a Rover badge on the bonnet. The Rover badge has to carry more kudos than the TATA badge in Europe and could be set up near or at existing Land Rover/Range Rover dealers. Come on TATA pull your act together.
scotty5 24 February 2014

Needs to be judged like -4- like.

I have to assume some people suffer from tunnel vision. What do people expect in the market for cheap cars, something that looks like a Jag? or a BMW perhaps? If folk took off their blinkers they might see 4dr cars such as this sell very well the world over - certainly not in the UK, but they sell elsewhere. Squashed up boot? You mean like a BMW 1 series 2dr coupe? The Toyota 4dr Yaris is a massive selling throughout the world , the one I hired several years back looked no different. As for the hatch which us Brits prefer , I could count it's rivals which are better looking using the fingers on my left hand - I'd need an abacus to count the ones which look worse. As a first effort, Tata seem to have done pretty well. Lack of cognitive design? Which of it's bargain basement rivals is full of cognitive design? The hatch looks no worse than an i10 or an ibiza, fabia, Yaris, MG3, Fiat anything, Lancia, Chevy whatever, etc. As for Dacia - I'm a fan, they're brilliant for their intended market, but hey - the motoring God's gave it the worst face they could find then drove it into a wall.
Viscount Biscuit 24 February 2014

O dear!

The saloon in particular is hideously out of proportion. The hatch not much better. Both look like their resting on roller skates which are a size too small. The headlights are bigger than the ruddy wheels! Not a good start, and what ever advantages or accomplishments they may possess, well, I cannot see beyond the lack of cognitive design.