Luxury is definitely more than just another strand of DNA with its double-helix form… it is more likely to have six sides to it. Luxury is navigating well through comfort. Luxury is all about the impact of safety. Luxury is the freedom to express and feel. Luxury is the opposite of vulgarity. Luxury is a peppy grin of happiness. Luxury is what you have and are able to drive, in case it is a car. Luxury is, therefore, definitely hexagonal. This is true of anything that might wish to be called a luxury… pens, clothes, jewellery, watches, perfumes, homes… and even cars.
Luxury is no longer an exclusive domain for a few. I say this with emphasis because I know that I am at liberty to dream and fall in love with any object or activity or service and be reasonably assured that it is transformed into reality… and I’d call it affordable luxury. Well, there is, of course a vulgar cousin of affordable luxury and is known as premium luxury where owning a fleet of yachts, a boxful of Vertu phones, dating a string of Hollywood divas, or owning villas in every fashionable city is a possibility. For instance, the new Tata Hexa is affordable luxury.
Freedom, safety, comfort, decency, grins, and usability are the keywords that I link with a great life… and, therefore, they come with generous whiffs of luxury, if I may add. I was in Hyderabad a few days back and we were to test drive the new Tata Hexa. One friend walked up to me and said, ‘I write on luxury. I’m happy I’m here.’
I replied, ‘I write on necessities… and I’m also happy that I am here.’ This friend looked at me aghast and said, ‘Necessities are bare.’
‘I thought luxury preferred to remain bare,’ I said with a smile, ‘and splashed on headlines every once in a while.’ I then added, ‘Necessities are the real luxury, my friend. The Tata Hexa is one. Meet me after the drive and let me have your opinion.’
That evening as I stepped out to see this lifestyle vehicle, I realised that despite a silhouette that appeared familiar and similar to the Aria, the Hexa was definitely one with a chiselled body! This handsome machine appeared both exciting and expressive even in the moonlight… and the clear, bold lines were definitely like some adrenaline-pumped God rushing forward towards another victory. Everything from the headlamps to the tail-light seemed to recite poetry in the baritone we associate with our own Senior Bachchan. So yes, though there are design and technology inputs that mention global partnerships, the final output isn’t alien to the Indian heart and mind. A luxury that we appreciate.
I haven’t yet mentioned but the company first showed off the Hexa at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show… and then decided to let their engineers and designers work with their preferred tools to create the best possibility. And this is why over 10,000 hours were dedicated even for developing the perfect acoustics for the 10 JBL speakers inside. Which other car has interiors with over 40 hues of black and grey? In which other Indian car can one find giant 19-inch alloys? I’m glad that the Tata team decided to keep working on every aspect until they had made every component better than it was at the time of conception of this idea. Such involvement is again a luxury that every Indian car buyer needs to applaud.
Luxury isn’t a ‘wolf at the door and its fangs are the vanities and conceits germinated by success. When an artist learns this, he knows where the danger is.’ And the team that met us at the launch was open and communicative with every possible fact that we wanted to know and thus they did reflect the words that Tennessee Williams wrote ages back. We were actually in conversation with the most accomplished artists the world would ever know… and their product of love is what the Tata Hexa is all about.
Luxury that isn’t vulgar
The exterior of Tata Hexa that have already been mentioned earlier, also reflect power from every big and small innovative touch and includes the sedate bonnet line above the grille, the flat surfaces on the top of the new projector headlamps, and the new tail lamps with youthful LED accent lights.
Even the interiors are extraordinary and inviting! It isn’t just the dashboard that is gives a premium wink because everything from the faux stitching in the soft touch material that runs across the centre of the dash to the faux leather upholstery which is firmer and superbly supportive defines the extraordinary. The 60:40 split folding bench in the middle row, the convenient third row, and the facility of folding seats in a 5:50 split to create space for luggage are rather inviting features.
Luxury is comfort
Let me just say that intelligent cars are perceived as a new-age comfort… and the four driving modes – Auto, Comfort, Dynamic, and Rough Road are backed by an intelligent system ‘for enhanced ride comfort and stability over different terrains’. They are there as a rotary knob right under the gear stick and every move is reflected on the center console. The automatic transmission variant too has selectable modes that include the economy, sports, and auto-sensing, along with race-car performance and manual shift options.
Luxury is safety
Lifting your foot off the accelerator and then suddenly braking is a critical manoeuvre and demands attention from researchers… well, the Tata engineers have ensured that in such a situation, the hydraulic pressure in the brake lines will be increased to provide stronger braking performance. The 6 airbags (do you notice HEXA here?) make sure that every occupant inside get a safety net. Hill-hold Control and the Hill Descent Control are features that we experienced during the off-roading bit that was built into the overall driving experience.
Luxury is a grin of happiness
The gentle hues of black and grey don’t make everything inside seem like a darkened baggage container… and the eyes convey this feeling immediately to the brain. And the brain orders a grin. A big grin is also reserved for high fidelity audio reproduction, though I must admit here that I was more interested in muting the sound for most of the distance as it was other noises and sounds that I wanted to hear, if they were there. The drive was, by and large, silence driven and we able to converse intelligently… and the grin came over many times.
I am told that there is an ambient mood lighting facility with a choice of eight colours for in-cabin effect and that this has illumination control and customisation. This does sound brilliant, though Tata Motors would need to invite me for a night drive this time to experience this. I can a grin on the reader’s face too now.
Luxury of freedom
Come on, there must be many who’d be thinking, ‘There now! He is definitely trapped by his own smartness. How is he going to relate freedom with luxury?’ This is easy, buddy. The consumer gets to choose between a manual and an automatic transmission system. The consumer gets to boldly opt for the advanced next-gen 2.2L Varicor 4 diesel engine that delivers a class-leading 400 Nm torque and 156 PS power for a really spirited driving experience. This is what freedom is all about, right?
Luxury to be able to drive it
The Indian social matrix is known to go for ‘bigger’ and more expensive cars and this is where, the PR pundits believe, the luxury segment begins. I guess they are just a bunch of nuts who are accustomed to defining things in ways that route profits their way. The real truth is that luxury begins when it is the buyer himself who gets to experience every driving pleasure. I’ve seen too many chauffeur-driven Audis, BMWs, Volvos, and Jaguars where the owner gets the most passive ride ever conceived and the driver gets to have all the fun! So in this case it is the driver who gets to experience luxury… which defines luxury as being able to drive a car! The Tata Hexa is so power-packed and so feature-loaded that handing over the keys to a driver would seem insane.
Yes, luxury is indeed genetically Hexa
Hexa is destined to rule… the roads and the psyche of the new Indian buyer. This is because luxury isn’t a limiting factor for this car but redefines it as something that opens up new possibilities. Hexa has, I guess, taken a giant step from just being the interlocking cells of a beehive, the crystals of a snowflake, a benzene ring, or marbles placed in a rounded dish that naturally arrange themselves into a hexagonal shape… and this new addition to the Hexa-list is determined to give every user the greatest erotic experience even without the customary 9 added!
By the way, remember that man was created on the sixth day. Six is the key-word. The time for Tata Hexa is NOW because luxury is genetically hexa.
26 October 2016