Feisty and fun within!

Tiago JTP and Tigor JTP. Photo by Shameer Asif M E

To cut a long story short, JTP for Tata Motors is what AMG is to Mercedes Benz. JT Special Vehicles, a joint venture programme between Tata Motors and Jayem Automotive, has launched their much-anticipated JTP range of performance vehicles – the Tiago JTP and the Tigor JTP, to bring back the ‘Joy of Motoring’.

Earlier this year at the Auto Expo, Tata Motors revealed the JTP models along with the star of the show – the ‘Harrier’. Since then, I was keen to check out these JTP models because as a car-nut, I know how capable the boffins are at Jayem Automotives. The partnership between Jayem Automotive and Tata Motors isn’t new though. JTP, as a brand, will inject more power, offer better handling and a huge dose of fun in the regular Tata cars. To top it off, the JTP models will have a sporty exterior and interior styling which will easily help us spot the car in the crowd.

About Jayem Automotives

Jayem Automotive is a big name in the automobile racing industry and has been in the background contributing to a whole lot of Tata Motors R&D. They have built cars like the Indica Silhouette V6 that made 330hp from its 3.5 litre V6 racing engine, and the Super Nano which made 130hp from its superbike sourced engine. Both these cars, like the JTP models, have been developed at the Kari Motor Speedway under the supervision of Jayem boss, J Anand. Anand himself is sort of a legend in Indian Motorsport history and is also a tuning genius. His team at J A Motorsport has built some of the MRF’s fastest rally cars. JA Motorsport built the MRF F2000 single-seater, which is raced by Mick Schumacher.

Tiago and Tigor JTP

It doesn’t matter how fast or fun to drive your car is unless you get instant attention from the public. The new JTP performance models are also getting a makeover by inducing more sporty character to the car. In one look, it is obvious that these cars aren’t your regular Tiago and Tigor. Instead of the 14-inch tyres on the regular cars, the JTP badged Tiago and Tigor get the chunkier 185 section 15-inch wheels with sportier looking diamond-cut alloys. The ride height is lowered by 4mm and you get an all-new front bumper with bigger air intakes. The use of piano black finish across the grille and side mirrors add sportiness to the Tiago, while the Tigor gets contrasting red coloured side mirrors. Both cars feature lightly smoked projector headlamps from the 2018 Tigor facelift and they even get side skirts, twin exhaust tips and a faux diffuser on the rear bumper. Visually, both the JTP models are appealing to look at and to sum it up, the bonnet has a proper air vent which serves a genuine purpose of extracting hot air. Both cars get a JTP badge on the front, side and on the rear bumper.

Interiors

There isn’t much to talk about on the inside. It’s more like an old wine in a new bottle. It’s a completely red and black theme on the inside to keep up with the sporty exteriors. You get new red seats with JTP logos on it. The front seats offer better lumbar support and the leather-wrapped steering is now fatter and feels nice to hold.

The cars get aluminium pedals, which gives you a nice feel of driving something really sporty along with a better grip of course.

The Tiago JTP gets the Tigor’s infotainment system and there’s actually no difference between both these cars apart from the boot.

Safety has been adequately taken care of with two airbags and ABS with EBD being standard fitment. A rear parking sensor and an 8-speaker sound system are part of the package. However, I would appreciate a bit more drama on the inside.

Under the hood

What really matters is the engine under the hood. Start the engine and you are welcomed with a mild burble. Both, the Tiago and Tigor JTPs are loaded with the 1.2-litre turbo petrol from the Nexon. The engine has been given a new intake, exhaust, and ECU mapping to now produce peak power of 114bhp (up 29bhp from the standard) while torque has been reduced to 150Nm from the Nexon’s 170Nm. The engine is mated to the Tiago’s 5-speed gearbox with lowered gear ratios for better acceleration. The Tiago and Tigor JTP come with Multi-Drive modes – Sport and City. Setting drive mode to City will give you a drop in torque to 115Nm and the City mode is a tad boring. Put it into Sport mode and instantly, you sense the sporty character of the JTP cars. It’s not a rev-happy engine as the limiter is set at 6000-rpm, but these cars are capable of bringing a smile on your face. 100kmph comes up in a claimed 10 seconds and goes all the way up to 170kmph. Both cars feel sure-footed at high speeds and the chunkier tyres do their magic, offering better grip levels even on tight corners.

The JTP cars are certainly livelier than the regular variants and what matters most is the dynamics package. Drive around, and you instantly feel more connected to the car. The steering feels heavy and nice to hold. The suspension tweaks are felt immediately when you drive around corners and it doesn’t compromise on ride comfort either. There is good low-end torque and you can pull all the way from 40-120kmph in the third gear, which is where the real fun lies.

The JTP Verdict!

J Anand and his team played the game consciously, as lowering the ride height hasn’t compromised on the ride comfort and NVH levels.

At the same time, JTP cars are products of JTSV with the same warranty as that of the regular Tiago and Tigor. The Tiago JTP and Tigor JTP will be available at select Tata Motors dealerships at a starting price of Rs 6.39 lakh and Rs 7.49 lakh respectively.

These are cars made by enthusiasts for enthusiasts. It is neither about the mouth-watering top speed nor the 0-100 acceleration. These cars feel livelier to drive, just like the good old times where people enjoyed driving the peppy Esteem and the 1.5-litre Honda City, without burning the pocket.

A strong mid-range is all we need in our daily commute, and that is catered to in the JTP cars at a low price. What makes sense is that the Tiago JTP undercuts the Baleno RS by a good 2.5 lakh margin. Though the engine and gearbox aren’t as smooth as the Suzuki, it is the handling that makes all the difference along with the much lower price tag!

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Feisty and fun within!

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