Its ironical. One one side we have petrol prices skyrocketing to match the rate of jet fuel, and on the other side we see bigger and more expensive cars rolling out and making record sales. Not to forget the persistent attempt at penetration of electric mobility constantly reminding us that petrol will soon be a smell of the past.
But amidst all this in the fast paced world that has replaced the conventional school of thought in just a decade, we have all learned to make the most of today, worry not past the next hour, and live the moment. This is where JTP makes a dazzling debut.
I live in a city like Mumbai / Delhi / Bangalore / Chennai / Hyderabad / etc, where people have more than just one car per compound. There is a big car at my home for the often or rare occasion of the family get together, or my dad has a long sedan that he bought nearly a decade ago. When its my time to get a car, be it when I’m a college going teen or a professional where things appear to be going my way, I’d want a hatchback all to myself which can take on any car on road, look better than the neighbours’ and colleagues’, can park anywhere, zip and cut across the bigger cars and impress my date.
This is not a new trend. I’ve come across people who got a Mercedes just so that can badge it an AMG by themselves, BMW with M, Audi with S, Jaguar with R-Sport, and so on. Is it going to be a similar tale with Tata and JTP? It’s certainly not a new trend in the volume segment either. Remember the GT and RS badging on some popular cars that made a buzz.
No matter how powerful you deliver a car, there is a not very sizeable yet significant sect who will run to the tuners and get various levels of ECU remapping done to widen their smirks when revving at nights. Its a guilty pleasure of ours; look well groomed but run untamed.
The three isolated paragraphs above culminate at the Tata Tiago JTP and Tigor JTP. Targeted at people who consider their car a second house or wife (depends), the JTP small cars could potentially dent the sales of their closest competitors if not their siblings’, as they are not only more powerful and quicker on the pedal, but also more affordable! They look great, they run like rabbits being chased by a tiger, and they have all the bells and whistles one would expect from a sub-10 lakh car (at a price of Rs 7 lakh). Now that’s enough to draw you in for a test drive.
But then, there will be always some of us who will be like – Really? I never thought I’d be heading to a Tata dealership, by now I should’ve been driving a Mini or a Mustang. Right, for now let me browse within my reach. Ah, the scoop on the hood looks good. There’s projector lamps, piano black grille, nice little chin spoiler, nice contrast all around, clear tail lamps, black roof and 15 inch diamond cut alloy wheels; covers most of the mod’s running in my head if ended up buying a standard car. Maybe I should drive a bit and see if its the same old rum in a new label.
The interiors, I keep trying to come up with some comments and some suggestions, but I hesitate when I think about the car’s price and its segment. Design – check, sporty accents to match the modified exterior – check, lots of red – check, not too much red that would scare my folks – check, racing pedals – check, lots of speakers – check, touchscreen – check, lots of pockets to store my crap – check, thinking what else I would really need – check.
Okay, let’s drive. The performance is admirable. A lot of cars run out of breath when revved hard, but this one spits more power as the tacho turns. I’m not a person who’s pretentiously obsessive about how many hairs go up at which rpm, I just care that if I step on it I must go whoosh, and that’s how I went past all the GTs and RSs on the road with genuine as well as make-do badges. I was so at joy that I forgot to check which gear I was in when I raced past that car that time, but I did it. Guess I didn’t have to down-shift.
While all that was fun, I did notice a few things that maybe relevant to me and a lot of enthusiasts like me, like the above average loudness of the engine that was audible when while I was playing heavy metal on the 8 Harman speakers, like the steering which was light and easy indeed but did not give a profound feedback while I was going bonkers at the turns, and so on, but still, this is the car comes so close to tick-ing my long list of personal wants in a car, so I’d maybe go home and come back later for a second test drive to see if this has really cast a shadow on the other cars on my shortlist.
It was an exciting day with lots of surprises and new hopes.
Summary: The exterior is a killer, the interior is rich, the performance is pumping, the braking is a saviour, the suspension is friendly, the ride quality is cool, the features fill a page, and the price is all okay! Tiago JTP and Tigor JTP‘s are indeed Tiger’s undisguised.