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
2 mins read
24 February 2014

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


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24 February 2014
Was expecting to see some 1980's retro interior, in fact that interior looks better than many of today's cars. Obviously depends on price and engine efficiency but given they're launching with a small petrol and a proven diesel, this should give a few headaches for other manufacturers. Where does this leave rivals such as MG3 which comes with inefficient 1.5 petrol only?

24 February 2014
I looked at the first three images and thought,either the image is compressed to fit the page or somebody is having a laugh!

24 February 2014
Peter Cavellini wrote:

I looked at the first three images and thought,either the image is compressed to fit the page or somebody is having a laugh!

Got to agree with Peter. particularly image3 which looks ridiculous. The wheels are round though so I don't think it has been distorted. Surely the stylist was having a joke and by mistake they've gone and built the thing.

21 March 2014
id say considering similar sub 4m sedans sold in india this one has better design . just google honda amaze ,hyundai xcent , maruti dezire, tata cs and ford figo sedan.

24 February 2014
While the interior is better than I thought it would, it isn't helped by being cream. I'd be interested to see what it's like in a darker colour. Wonder how much it's gonna cost as well. Needs to be Dacia cheap to stand a chance of modest sales.


24 February 2014
Are those Jag door mirrors?

24 February 2014
Lucky Spain, Italy and Turkey.

I have to say, a someone who is in Italy a lot, Tata is not a familiar brand, though one sees the occasional pickup truck.

For the owner of the Rover brand, CityRover notwithstanding, Tata doesn't seem the obvious marque through which to sell in Europe. Would there not be a space in Jaguar/ Land Rover dealerships for Rovers "engineered by Jaguar"? I would include The Bolt, Xenon and Aria in the category.

24 February 2014
Tata have struggled in Poland despite reasonable pricing. The brand is not well known and has a limited dealer network. Dacia is storming ahead there as they can utilize Renault's dealer network and have been established for years. The current range suffers from cheap finish and a limited range. Normally this type of car would normally do well. The small, short saloons developed for the Indian market are pretty revolting to European tastes .... look like they have been shunted

24 February 2014
Tata appears to have sensibly waited to introduce 'em till it could make 'em ready for the European market, i.e. introduce 'em with decent interiors, and with competitive set of engines.

The one with the petrol engine probably is the one to go for. The Tata own engine probably being that much cheaper, the low air compression probably aids longevity, it's nearly flat torque curve should offer fine real world economy - the price of the thing should then be pretty competitive.

24 February 2014
It's a compact saloon designed to be as voluminous as possible within 4 meters length constraints. So I'm quite sure it isn't a deliberate joke. Now it's quite common that very compact cars designed to offer maximum internal volume, are not - great looking. I don't think the probable market for these cars, will be thinking that much about the looks. That competitive price, practical design plus competitive handling at the price level, and not the least - competitive operating costs, will be enough


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