Bajaj's Qute is the first vehicle in the quadricycle segment in the country. We take a closer look at Qute that is smaller than a Nano.
Going by the design, the query that comes to everybody's mind first is, is it electric? That's normal because you perhaps have never seen such a small car. But doubt not, it is a petrol vehicle. It has got two headlamps, with inductors incorporated into them. You can't see the grille because the engine is mounted in the rear. There is enough space in the bonnet, you can carry 20 kg to 30 kg. The bumper is in black and the wiper has a single arm.
The 12-inch wheel may look like alloys. Qute is 2,752 mm long, 1,312 mm wide, 1,652mm tall, has a wheelbase of 1925 mm and 185 mm ground clearance. The window glasses on the sides can slide. It has four doors and a monocoque structure similar to cars and uses high-strength steel in its construction. The rear looks normal, with all that goes into the bonnet of a front-engine vehicle seen in the back.
The inside design has been inspired by Bajaj autorickshaw. All the plastic components are a straight lift from the auto. The steering wheel is small and there are glove boxes on both sides that can be locked. The gear lever is fixed to the central console. The gear shift is similar to AMT. The digital-analogue instrument cluster in the centre features gear position indicator, digital fuel gauge, odometer, trip meter and covers all the basics. To save space, the spare wheel has been tucked below the dash. There is reasonable amount of storage space available; there are door pockets, space behind the back seat, and below the front seats. Two persons can comfortably travel in the back with enough leg space and shoulder space. Though there is no air-conditioner, the design is done in such a way that you get good amount of air inside. A roof liner provides better heat insulation inside the cabin.
The seating is high and offers good visibility. The 216cc, single-cylinder, twin-spark, liquid-cooled engine sends power to the rear wheels. In the petrol variant, the engine makes 13.2 bhp of power and 18.9 Nm of torque while the figures for the CNG version are 11 bhp and 16.1 Nm. Though the engines are small, they offer good power, helping in taking the vehicle anywhere, while the small size of the vehicle helps in negotiating narrow roads and aiding parking. Qute can accommodate four people. The rear shock absorber has independent suspension offering decent ride comfort.
Though there is no power steering, it is easy to operate. It uses a 5-speed transmission with Bajaj's DTSI technology. The company claims that the engine emits 40% less carbon than cars. The company promises 35 kmpl mileage. Private-taxi variants are available. Ex-showroom price Rs 2.52 lakh.