Motoring

It’s all the rage

The green buggy has four gigantic wheels. Unlike the regular cars, its engine is placed at the back.  

I feel like I am flying! My entire body is reverberating, including my head inside a helmet. The world seems to be swirling. And the seat belt tightly clasped around my waist is reassuring.

I am travelling in the Rage Motorsports Cyclone Buggy, a motorsport vehicle for off-road adventure driving, which has been launched in the city. The green buggy has four gigantic wheels. Unlike the regular cars, its engine is placed at the back.

Rahul Ravi, who heads Uber Werkstatt AG, the dealers for the vehicle in Tamil Nadu, is driving. Our track is the patch of fallow land, off Avanashi Road, opposite PSG CAS. Rahul zooms around and I cling to the rails of the two-seater for dear life.

Rahul swerves the buggy as he winds through the shrubs and the thin branches that obstruct our path. We whiz up and down the uneven terrain. “That’s a slope” I exclaim. But that does not bother my driver, who revs the engine to go up. We descend in the same speed. I scream and close my eyes, tightly.

I have experienced the similar thrill in a roller coaster ride. Surprisingly it is not a very bumpy ride.

“The buggy is made of round tubes. The shock absorber is three times more powerful than a normal car,” explains Rahul after we skid to a halt in a cloud of sand. “We would have easily hit a 100 kilometre per second. Can you imagine travelling in car, even at a normal speed through a rugged turf like this? This buggy is purely for off-road motor sport.”

Says Neville Poonawala, owner of the Rage Motorsport Company, “We target people with estates, who have the space to use this sport. We have found a good market in the South, including in cities such as Cochin, Hyderabad and Bangalore.”

The future of adventure sports is not bleak and the trend is catching up, observes Neville. “Ten years ago, go-karting did not draw much crowd. But, now it is a popular sport. Similarly, off-roading will also pick up. Even thought it is a niche market, if promoted the right way, we can find a customer base for it.”

Neville sees potential in Coimbatore for the vehicle. “The city is not new to me. I know the people here love horse riding and motor sport rallies. Also, this is a city that has produced legends such as Narain Karthikeyan. I know I am in the right place.”

Features

Weight: 540 kg (dry).

Engine: Suzuki K-Series 996 cc, 3 cylinder, 70 hp

Brakes: Stainless steel cross drilled discs all round with Rage Calipers

Gear: Forward/ reverse gear box

Seat belts: A four-point harness with click buckle

Capacity: 20-litre fuel tank.

Price: Rs.13 lakh


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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 5:14:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Motoring/its-all-the-rage/article5784870.ece

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