Speculation: Is Bajaj Auto planning to resurrect the Blade 125 Automatic Scooter?
Last week, a major revelation on the Indian motoring circuit was that of Bajaj Auto re-entering the high growth automatic scooter segment. In its comeback, Bajaj Auto is rumored to launch the first automatic scooter sometime in the middle of 2013. With mid 2013 just about 6 months away, we are left wondering about the direction Bajaj Auto could possibly take with its automatic scooter offering. After digging into the scooter concepts that Bajaj Auto had showcased at the various Auto Expos of the yesteryears, our attention fell on the Bajaj Blade 125 concept.
Along with the Bajaj Blade, two new motorcycles in the form of the XCD Sprint and the Discover 150 DTSi were showcased at the 2008 Indian Auto Expo. Both these motorcycles hit the production floor while the Blaze remained still born. Now though, all that could change given the fact that Bajaj Auto wants a pie of the high growth automatic scooter segment, one area of the two wheeler market whose growth has outstripped that of the rest of the industry. The Bajaj Blade 125, in concept guise, was showcased at the 2008 Indian Auto Expo, as Bajaj Auto’s rival to the likes of the Honda Dio and the Activa.
The Blade 125 featured a 125cc-air cooled four stroke engine that came with a 4 valve head. This engine was mated to a CVT automatic transmission. Ever since, this four valve head with DTSi twin spark technology has made it onto the Bajaj Discover 125 ST commuter motorcycle. So, Bajaj Auto has a ready engine platform to use in its latest automatic scooter. Given how fond Bajaj is of sharing platforms, there is a high possibility of the motorcycle giant making its re-entry into the automatic scooter segment with the 125cc DTS-i 4 valve engine that powers the Discover 125 ST.
Coming back to the Blade, the 125cc engine of the Bajaj Blade automatic scooter featured kick start and electric start options. The Blade also hosted some class leading(for that time and day) features like a digital instrumentation console, front fuel filling, telescopic front forks, alloy wheels, twin headlamps, twin rear shock absorbers and 12 inch wheels. With all these features, the Blade 125 can easily hold its own in the Indian automatic scooter market, if Bajaj Auto indeed goes ahead and resurrects this scooter. Watch this space.