Exclusive: Aprilia RS 150 And Tuono 150 Not Coming To India… BUT
….we may get something even more exciting instead!
Remember the Aprilia RS 150 and the Tuono 150 that we salivated over at the Auto Expo earlier this year? The two motorcycles that were supposed to take the entry-level sportbike segment to a new level altogether? And provide a much needed competition to the Yamaha R15 V3.0? Well, we’ve got some news for you -- and it’s a bit of a mixed bag. The thing is, they aren’t coming to India, at least not in the form that we saw at the expo.
...The good news is, we'll probably get something better instead. In a casual conversation, a company official said that they are not really happy with how the two bikes are turning out to be. Currently, the engine performance of the motorcycles is just on par with its competition. For perspective, the bikes showcased at the Expo churned out 18PS of power and 14Nm of torque, while the R15 V3.0 makes 17PS of power and 15Nm of torque. While many manufacturers would settle for that, that’s apparently not how Aprilia rolls.
And so, the Italian marque intends to revise its offering to bring it more in line with the Aprilia ethos seen in its larger siblings. Now, this could mean many things: 1) A bigger engine capacity 2) Premium parts and features 3) A completely new segment altogether. The whole intention behind this overhaul is to outperform its competition in every single way. You don't have to look further than the Aprilia RSV4's positioning compared to other Japanese litre-class monsters in the superbike segment to know what we're saying.
The officials also believes India to be a unique market. If the company had to sell lower capacity RS’s and Tuonos here, it’ll just bring its European smaller capacity range here. But that probably won’t work here. The company has also ruled out the possibility of tying up with a local manufacturer, something that it believes would dilute the Aprilia brand. Hence, a cost-saving mass-production approach might not be taken here.
Now IF all this does come to fruition, don't expect the company to price its new products competitively. After all, getting the unique positioning right and placing it on par with the R15 would be almost impossible. However, Aprilia believes Indian customers are willing to shell out some extra dough for better performance, tech and equipment, as had been evidenced by some extraordinary offerings in the recent past.
Right now it’s too early to even speculate what kind of motorcycles we can get, let alone guess their approximate prices. Considering the task at hand for Aprilia, however, don't expect to see the two motorcycles anytime before 2020.