India as an automotive market has a scarce number of affordable performance cars. As challenging as our pay less, extract more mindset, manufacturers find it hard to satisfy the customer with everything there needs to be in a performance car.
Tata Motors in partnership with Jayem Automotive have introduced to the market a truly Indian performance car that me and you can have the pleasure of owning. The Tata Tiago JTP is a product of collaboration between two Indian companies and it sure does have the capability to impress the present day Indian automotive enthusiast.
The Tiago JTP is a muscular cousin of the Tiago and the JTP makes more power, looks better, and packs in more punch in comparison with the regular Tiago. The transformation has been carried out in bits and pieces to make the JTP come together.
How is it to look at?
The stylish looking front bumper sports a bigger air intake with a neatly integrated fog lamp setup. Chrome strips on the regular Tiago make way for piano black finish and an addition of the JTP badge gives the front fascia good character.
Design changes on the JTP includes a vent on the hood and air vents on either sides of the car which don’t just look good, but are fully functional as well. The side vents sport a JTP badge, adding more character to the car. The car sits lower by 4mm and comes with 15 inch diamond cut alloy wheels and 185 section tires to complete the stance.
The rear diffuser with double barrel exhaust looks too good to me and when you crank the car up, it sounds like nothing on any entry level performance car in India. Full black roof appeals to me as a nice touch of style which looks great on hatchbacks. More aggressive looking headlight setup with chrome finish on the interior completes the overall look of the car.
What’s it like on the inside?
When you get inside, you immediately notice the JTP stitch on the front seats and the red accents give the interior a good first impression. The JTP gets leather wrapped steering wheel with subtle red stitching and the infotainment is a 7.0 inch touchscreen unit by Harman and comes with an 8 speaker unit but does not support Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, at the moment.
Getting a comfortable driving position gets difficult because the steering wheel is slightly odd set for my liking. Overall, the fit and finish on the inside is improved over the regular Tiago but not up to offer on competition performance cars for the likes of the Volkswagen Polo GT and the Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS.
Is it exciting to drive?
It sure is! The Tiago JTP packs a lot of power from its 1.2litre petrol engine produces 114PS @5000 rpm and 150NM of torque @2000-4000rpm. This engine is a great step up from the regular Tiago and the car performs like it reads on paper. This JT performance car comes with better fuel delivery, new intakes and a tweaked valve timing. The initial power delivery is quite jerky on both City and Sport modes but gets better as the revs increase. City mode feels quite underpowered and I would’ve enjoyed to have a better low end to match the wide delivery.
There is a considerable amount of lag until the power kicks in and when it does, it kicks in unexpectedly. Understanding the car at high speeds needs some time and when you do, the mild inputs make way for a smoother, powerful drive. Pulling away from traffic in the city with the car engaged in Sport mode is a breeze plus when the car sounds that good, it makes you want to do it more and more.
The gear lever gets a nice chrome finish which is a bit too smooth and slips off your hand while downshifting hard. This did happen to me multiple times, but as I drove the car, I got myself in a good position to avoid this. Steering the car around the city is easy with it’s soft steering but it remains soft at high speeds as well. With a slightly stiffer suspension setup on the JTP, the steering could’ve been slightly heavier to support stabilize the car better.
185 section tires developed by MRF and Apollo specifically for these cars work wonders. We couldn’t test it driving through the hills or in bad road conditions, but for the most part, it did impress us with some good grip levels. Braking on the JTP which is claimed to be segment leading showed us progressive performance but the gear shifts from its 5-speed manual gearbox were not as slick as I expected them to be.
The best place to be in the car is while you’re cruising in 3rd gear between 4500-5500 RPM. The power delivery beyond this is enough to pull off overtaking with ease.
How much does it cost?
The Tiago JTP starts from Rs. 6.43 Lakhs (ex -showroom Bangalore). This is slightly expensive than the regular Tata Tiago Petrol which goes up till Rs. 6.26 Lakhs (ex – showroom Bangalore). Talking about the competition, other performance cars are the Volkswagen Polo GTI and the Baleno RS which start with Rs. 9.39 and Rs. 8.89 Lakhs (ex – showroom Bangalore).
But that’s a game the Tiago JTP might not win in all levels. What the JTP is, is a performance car upgrade for the enthusiast who can compromise on a few aesthetics to gain control of a car with a great engine and one of the best handling cars under the Rs.10 Lakh range in India.
The Tiago JTP is a great driver’s car and if you are someone looking for an upgrade keeping the cost under consideration, then look no further.
Editor Note: This review wouldn’t have been possible without the tremendous support from “Adishakti Cars” , an exclusive Tata Motors dealership located at Hebbal, heart of Bangalore city. A State-of-the-art Tata Motors showroom that provides sales and service for entire range of Tata cars like Tiago, Nexon, Hexa, Harrier etc. Do visit this showroom if you are around Bangalore.
Full Dealership address:
Adishakti Cars Pvt Ltd, #56, Opp Lumbini Garden Main Gate, Veeranpalya, Service Ring Road, Jogappa Layout, Nagavara, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560045
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