The Bajaj Qute has grabbed the attention of South Africans because of its affordable price – it is on offer for R65,000 until the end of April.
This car is the result of a joined project between Bajaj Auto, Renault, and Nissan to develop an affordable car with fuel-efficiency of 30 kilometres per litre.
Bajaj first unveiled the Qute in January 2012 at the Delhi Auto Expo, targeting it at auto-rickshaw drivers.
The vehicle gained strong support in India which encouraged Bajaj to grow its presence in other regions, including South Africa.
The Bajaj Qute is officially classified as a quadricycle – a European Union vehicle category for four-wheeled microcars.
Quadricycles are defined by limitations in terms of weight, engine power, and speed.
These microcars are allowed to be designed to less stringent requirements when compared to regular cars.
The Bajaj Qute is a perfect example of a microcar. It has an engine capacity of only 216.6cc which produces 9.70kW of power.
Its four stroke, single cylinder engine produces a maximum torque of 18.9Nm at 4,000 RPM and a top speed of 70 kilometres per hour.
Bajaj highlights that its less complex engine makes maintenance easier and more affordable.
Bajaj claims that the Qute is NRCS approved and can run on all South African roads. It can, however, not travel on highways because it does not meet the 80km/h minimum requirement.
Although the Bajaj Qute has capacity for a driver and three passengers, it will be a push to fit four adult men into the car.
It is also not meant for long trips. The company is promoting the vehicle as an “eco-friendly, fuel efficient, and economically competitive vehicle for first and last mile transportation”.
The Qute’s small size – 2.75m x 1.3m – has some advantages. It has a turning radius of only 3.5m which makes it easy to manoeuvre through congested lanes and park in tight spaces.
In South Africa Bajaj is positioning the Qute as “great for delivery and transport businesses” and an alternative to a tuk-tuk.
With a claimed fuel efficiency of 3 litres per 100km, it is suitable for Uber Eats, Mr D, and last-mile courier deliveries.
The Qute has a small front bonnet which can host 20kg and some storage space in the front glove box.
Most of the capacity is in the vehicle itself, with foldable rear seats for additional storage.