If you ask me? Memories and discoveries are made while travelling to new places and going on road trips!
Luckily I got a chance to experience both, YES! Last week i.e 22/10/2016 to 23/10/2016 I got a chance to witness and experience the #HexaExperience with the all new yet to be launched Tata Motors flagship Hexa, thanks to good folks at indiblogger.in for organizing the event in association with Tata Motors and shortlisting 60 bloggers from across India to experience the ultimate drive of Tata Hexa at Hyderabad – the city of Nizams and Pearls, accommodation was at the Novotel Hotel – Hyderabad, near the airport.
The Mumbai bloggers reached the hotel at around 3.00pm, we were pleasantly greeted by Team Indiblogger and the Novotel Hotel Reception staff. After the warm welcome, we were guided to our hotel rooms and blogger registrations. After that we headed towards lunch at the Novotel’s Square restaurant – lavish and exquisite cuisine on the menu. We gathered again at around 6.30pm for a briefing at the Novotel Hotel ballroom from Tata Motors engineering, design and marketing team, followed by Q & A session.
The first to take the center stage and greet us was Nihal from team Indiblogger, after that Mr. Ashish Sahni took over and spoke about the Tata Hexa and shared some brief information about the car apart from welcoming us on behalf of Tata Motors. Next to come up was Mr. Vivek Srivatsa, Head-Marketing for Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles, who aptly described the concept for developing a new breed of MUV, the thought process and the challenges of understanding the customers need by evaluating the analytical data gathered.
Highlight of the presentation was discussion on design, driving characteristics, comfort, size and Safety & Technology apart from categorizing the Tata Hexa into multiple categories such as Power packed – that is the engine under the hood, feature loaded – that is the interior and car’s function with multi driving modes and off road capabilities and Adrenaline pumping – the driving experience.
Next was Mr. Richard Winsor – Chief Designer Exteriors at TATA Motors who gave a brief background about the design of the car, exterior and interiors, the challenges they faced while designing MUV for Indian roads while keeping it upbeat in looks and comfort. Richard described about the 2 categories which he stated as Impact design, the EX’s which were EXCITING, EXPRESSIVE and EXTRAORDINARY and the IN’s which were INVITING, INTELLIGENT and INTOUCH. I was impressed when Mr. Richard spoke about the car’s seat design, which was given special attention by adding some amazing dimension to the overall look and feel, which was premium in all aspects.
Cocktail and dinner was waiting for us. As we headed towards the lawn of the Novotel Hotel we were surprised to see some additions, such as punching bags. Cocktails were theme based-Power packed, feature loaded and adrenaline pumping. Apart from that there were couple of caricature artists, but however the show stopper of the evening was Mr. Biswa, the Youtuber and stand-up comedian who is admired for his sarcastic and witty cracks on daily life situations and happenings, it was a pleasant surprise. Apart from all – a fantastic dinner and a great networking session with bloggers, a lot of new faces besides the familiar ones.
Next day was an early wakeup call of 5.00am for breakfast, it was a bright and beautiful Sunday morning to go for a long drive. After breakfast, we were given a briefing about how to use the different functions of the car to maximum effects for both Manual and Automatic transmission cars.
There were 20 cars and 60 bloggers, so 20 teams of 3 bloggers each were designated the night before. Every car was accompanied by a person from the Tata Motors staff, so that they could tell about the features and help in providing information needed while driving and understanding the car’s DNA. It was roughly a 170 kms drive overall. I was accompanied by Tanmay Pangam and Priya Shiva, both being an amazing company, we had a gala time while driving and cruising throughout the journey along with some halts at scenic locations.
First Impressions on the driving Tata Hexa:
- The Driver’s Seat: The captain seat as I would say because of the height and the feel of the seat, it is so well positioned that I could view 2 to 3 cars ahead of me in a straight line, so you can just imagine how authoritative one would feel.
- Steering: Steering was smooth, the car is very responsive while in high speeds and overtaking, apart from a stable experience while driving along the highway as well as single lane bumpy roads.
- Comfort: If you consider driving a MUV which is as broad and muscular as the Tata Hexa, you would doubt the comfort in driving experience considering the sheer size of the car and the steering control, but that is when it surprises you with a very pleasant driving experience considering the comfortable seat and the steering controls.
- The Sheer Power: While I was on the AWD (Automatic Transmission) version of Tata Hexa which comes in 2-WD (wheel drive) 2 litre VARICOR engine, the engine was responsive to acceleration and was giving power accordingly to the push of the pedal, I have driven few AWD cars before, but the Tata Hexa exceeded expectation and gave a power pack performance.
- Off road comfort: While we were given a fairly bumpy route to test the Tata hex on all fronts, we were on a long single lane passage with bumpy roads and rough turns, the car cruised as if it was going on a highway, due to the big wide tire of 19 inch and rubber to alloy ratio, it played a significant role in giving a truly comfortable ride apart from the strong, steady and reliable shock absorber and not to forget the body hugging seats, just the right ingredients for a comfortable off road experience.
- The dazzling surround sound: The JBL speakers in the car are well integrated, designed and positioned perfectly to set the mood rolling while you are thundering along the roadway.
Thou I could go on and on with the list, but I will restrict myself here, and share my bits on the off-road experience which was thrilling indeed, after the 170 kms drive, we reached back to Novotel Hotel, we were instructed to have an off-road experience with Tata Hexa so that they could demonstrate the off-road features of the Tata Hexa. Some of the highlights of the off-road experience were:
- The dead holes: Yes, the Tata Hexa easily crossed through the dead holes like a boss with its extraordinary shock absorbers and intelligent tyre pressure sensing technology it aptly understands which tyre requires pressure and accordingly powers individual tyre giving enough torque required to glide through dicey surface, I have taken some pictures which will demonstrate what I am talking about.
- Scary Tilt: After covering some scenic beauties, the first thing I was told is to fasten my seat belt, cause it’s going to be a fun ride, when the car reached the tilted surface, I was in a state of disbelief about how will this car tilt and stay stable, but while I was experiencing the drive through that tilt, the car was stable at that degree of slope, showcasing the cars stability and grip on any road.
- The Un-Skid: Well, you can drive along smoothly on icy surface with your Tata Hexa, yes! As I have spoken in point 1, the technology allows the car to understand which tyre requires torque and delivers the power to cruise through.
- Hill descent and hold: It was a roller coaster ride but wait, the driving instructor on the wheels told us something that was a little hard to believe at first, so with the Tata Hexa while you are driving on hill descent pathway, all you need to do is essentially nothing, the system does its thing while on rough road mode automatically.
Though the price point of the Tata Hexa is still a mystery and it shall be revealed at the time of Launch, however the speculation in the auto world are eyeing at a competitive price of around the range of 15 to 20 Lakhs, is it worth it? A thumping yes after driving the car and understanding the true potential of features and the striking looks, I would invest in it for the off road as well as long drive getaways. Tata Motors have worked extensively on the exteriors, interiors and the engineering to pull off a stunner MUV – and it has impressed everyone who has driven this beast!