Like a lightning Bolt
Tata has gone rallying with the new Bolt, along with Team Kajah Motorsports at the 2015 Rally of Coimbatore. Two brand new Bolts were sent to TKM to participate in the rounds of FMSCI – Indian Rally Championship 2015, as Safety cars (Zero Car). TKM had just fifteen days to complete the build and take part in the second round of the IRC at the Kethanur windmill farms near Coimbatore. Although the Bolt wasn’t part of the competition, it performed exceedingly well on the same grueling rally course as established rally cars like Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions, Cedias, Honda Cities, Maruti Esteems, VW Polos and Mahindra XUV 500s were running for honors . The final victory went to Mr. Lohitt Urs of Mysore with navigator Srikanth in a Mitsubishi Evo VIII run by the Malaysian Team – MRU.
“The Bolt holds a lot of potential to become a successful rally car. For a start, it has got the basics right, like a capable platform with great structural rigidity and good suspension geometry. With the right modifications, it can be turned into an outright rally machine that can conquer the toughest of rally terrains” said Zuhin (Champion IRC, 2012) who was behind the wheel of the rally Bolt with Shaji Thattil – his old time navigator.
TKM said “We are happy about our association with Tata Motors who has boldly come forward to test their new car on rally terrain. Rallying is as thorough as any endurance test ever gets. It is a combined test of strength, durability and build quality that replicates many years of use in a matter of minutes. The findings from rallying have often benefitted car manufacturers around the world who use it for further improvements in the product.
We are glad that Yokohama & Motul Oils too have come forward to support us with Rally Tyres and Lubes for the Tata Bolt – Rally program.”
The Indian Motorsports fraternity was more than happy to see another truly Indian car manufacturer enter rallying too. Starting with a brand new car that no one has ever rallied before is a challenge. The level of R&D that goes into this is immense and TKM is working hard to improve the Rally Bolt even further. The dream is to turn it into a thorough and sought-after rally car by the end of the season in December.
He ran it almost stock for some time and then started thinking about a reliable remap. He got in touch with Lap47 and opted for an Evotech remap. The results were more than good. There was an increase in response and overall power and it wasn’t consuming any extra fuel. He also got the grill and OE wheels painted black around the same time till it was time for his next birthday when he got another gift in the form of some wheels and suspension.
Having the driven the car ourselves, we have to say it is a fine little package now. There is an urgency in the way it accelerates. The exhaust adds a bass note to the engine, which goes a little vocal when upshifting enthusiastically. It is loud, but isn’t as intrusive as one might imagine. The suspension gives it good response and composure in corners. W didn’t push it much, but the car felt agile changing directions. Ride quality hasn’t taken much of a toll, but you do feel the occasional rut and potholes on our roads.
Next on Pranoy’s wishlist is uprated brakes and then upgrading to a stage two remap with the addition of an intake. He also has plans to add an aftermarket steering wheel with paddleshifts and may be the LED headlamps from the new GTI. At the moment he is enjoying the car, while being thankful to the guys at Lap 47 for making his car what it is today.
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