Datsun is all set to introduce in a new, bigger-capacity engine to its flagship Redigo hatchback. The car, which has been the best-selling Datsun model in India and has sold over 32,000 units since its launch in May 2016, will see the addition of the new motor while the model with the existing 800cc powerplant.
While the bookings for the Redigo 1.0 have already commenced for with a booking amount of Rs 10,000, the official India launch is slated for July 26.
The new engine is essentially the same 1.0-litre unit from the Renault Kwid, which gets an over-bored engine block of the 800cc three-cylinder unit, and also newer internals. Since the Kwid weighs almost 10kg than the Redigo, Datsun says the Redigo has been given different gear ratios to make it peppier.
The 1.0-litre Intelligent Spark Automated Technology (iSAT) engine is rated to produce 67bhp of power, up by 14bhp from the 800cc-engined car, and at the same time, peak torque figures are up by 19Nm, to now develop 91Nm. The engine automatically adjusts spark timing in response to fuel quality and power demand, and is rated to deliver 22.5kpl of fuel economy. The engine will be available in the top two, T(O) and S trims, with the ‘S’ getting a driver airbag as well.
Autocar Professional was invited to the pre-launch drive of the Redigo in Goa and we found the car to have significantly improved in terms of driveability and NVH levels. The short gearing is immediately evident in the lower gears, where the car can move off the line with slight throttle dabs, but the engine demands an early upshift in the initial two gears, before it starts sounding crude.
Three-cylinder engines inherently give out a lot of vibrations, but Datsun has drastically improved the low range vibes with the bigger engine and iSAT has a role to play in it. However, NVH remains sub-par and engine noise is pretty intrusive.
The car will also get some feature additions over the regular version, with inclusion of central locking with remote key, an all-black interior and silver accentuation around the AC vents and horn pad.
Not an AMT promise
While its elder sibling, the Kwid has already been offered with the option of an AMT gearbox on the 1.0-litre engine, Datsun is not bringing it rightaway. “We have the technology ready and we will surely bring the two-pedal technology to the market, when there is sufficient demand in place,” Jerome Saigot, vice-president, Datsun India, told Autocar Professional.
“The demand for the 1-litre variant could come from all topographical segments and not just urban areas. It is a customer preference to opt for a powerful car and so we do not see the car to be selling strictly in Tier 1 cities,” said Saigot.
The company has been exporting its cars to neighbouring Nepal and Sri Lanka and going forward, it is also hopeful of introducing the higher-capacity Redigo to those countries as well.
Nissan committed to India
Datsun’s parent brand Nissan, which has still to gain traction in the Indian market, has affirmed its commitment to India. According to Saigot, “We, Nissan-Datsun are fully committed to the Indian market and are working towards a future strategy and will collectively bring out a good line-up of products. Government policies like the GST, which has helped us adopt a one-nation-one-price philosophy for even the budget car segment, and the recent push towards electrification, are being watched by us very closely.”
“Nissan being a leader in EV technology in the world is here to bring the same to India as well and the products are in the pipeline for the Indian market,” he added.