TVS X first ride review | Is this the electric Ntorq we’ve been waiting for?
The TVS X piqued a lot of interest, first as the Creon concept that was showcased at the Auto Expo a few years ago and then just a few months back, when it was launched in a grand manner in Dubai. Not only was the launch of the scooter spectacular, but so was the price. Rs 2.49 lakh ex-showroom is what the X is priced at and for that, you do get a fair bit of equipment and features. But is that enough to justify the price tag that is nearly twice that of the current segment-leading electric scooters? We jetted down to Hosur in Bangalore to find out.
TVS X styling and design
The TVS Creon concept dropped our jaws when we got a first glance at it at an Auto Expo a few years ago. Sharp, edgy, radical, and sporty are some of the adjectives that were thrown around upon seeing that concept. But the thing with concepts is that a lot of practicality and mindfulness join the equation by the time the said concept makes it into production. The production variant will look anywhere between 10-50 per cent inspired by the concept; if you’re lucky, the number will lean towards the latter figure. But the TVS X marks a pleasant change of events. The X looks nearly identical to the concept and the same aforementioned adjectives come to mind when you see the X. Finished in a shade of hot red, accented neatly by the electric blue and grey of the frame and the rest of the hardware, the TVS X is really unlike other scooters you would get to see on Indian roads. The only scooter that comes close in terms of edginess is its stablemate, the Ntorq.
The overall design language of the TVS X can be classified as that of a maxi scooter with a step-through footwell. In the front, you have a neatly stacked headlamp unit which has a welcome and goodbye sequence when you start or switch off the scooter. Below the headlight on either side are cornering lights that are lean-sensitive. Moving behind, on top of the handle gear sits a massive 10.25-inch touchscreen that serves as the instrument cluster, but more on that later. The handlebar is wide and has a well-designed switch cube setup that includes cruise control buttons. The levers feel substantial and in a first for an Indian scooter, are adjustable for reach. Then where the footwell would be, you have the battery and footrests on either side. The seat setup is a two-piece unit with storage under the rider’s seat that opens electrically. The rear section of the scooter is neatly designed with a sharp taillight design and a single-sided swingarm. The side profile of the scooter is the most interesting. With the exposed spilt aluminium alloy frame and contrasting blue and grey colours. The motor cover, like the iQube, has an LED light that illuminates when powered on. The pillion footpegs are neatly designed and fold out like blades, similar to those on the Ducati Diavel V4.
In typical TVS fashion, fit and finish levels are solid, and the TVS X is currently only available in the first edition red colour. One thing that would’ve added to the scooter’s visual appeal would be the inclusion of 14-inch wheels instead of the 12-inch units that are fitted now. That being said, the scooter looks quite nice overall, and all of the design elements flow cohesively to create a sharp-looking scooter with a definite sporty intent.
TVS X battery, motor and performance
The TVS X gets a large (for a scooter) 4.4kWh battery that sends power to a PMSM motor that is good for 7kW of nominal power and 11kW of peak power, making it amongst the most powerful electric scooters in the market right now. TVS claims that the X can sprint from 0-60kmph in 4.5s and reach a top speed of 105kmph. This, with a claimed IDC range of 140km. We didn’t get nearly enough time to test out the range of the scooter, so any questions regarding the real-world range in all modes and combined efficiency and charging will be addressed in a comprehensive road test review that will be out at a later date.
In terms of riding performance, in Xonic, which is the most powerful mode on the scooter, the X feels fast, gets off the line quickly and accelerates with vigour till around 75-85kmph after which the acceleration begins to taper slightly. Having said that, I did manage to clock a speedo-indicated top-speed of 106kmph on the TVS test track's not-so-long straight, while lighter journalists saw as much as 111kmph on the speedo. TVS tells us that Xonic mode will deliver the full power of the motor until there is 70 per cent charge left in the battery, after which the performance will be downrated. With the limited amount of time, I couldn’t comprehensively test out the Xtealth and Xtride modes. These are equivalent to an eco and mid-power mode, respectively. The throttle response is a lot more gentle and friendly in these modes and should be ideal for slow city traffic. In terms of outright performance, the X feels comparable to the likes of the Ather 450 X or the Ola S1 Pro. The scooter we were riding wasn’t running the final software and there were a fair share of glitches. On multiple occasions, when the scooter was riding a little faster or braking after heavy acceleration, the motor would shut off and this wasn’t particularly confidence-inspiring. Aside from that, even the silent chain drive system does feel a little clunky when you quickly twist the throttle. There are also multiple stages of regenerative braking, but more on that after the full road test. TVS has acknowledged the issues and is certain that they will all be ironed out and rectified before customers start getting deliveries.
TVS X chassis, ride and handling
Underpinning the TVS X is a two-piece aluminium alloy frame with a bolt-on subframe. The frame is suspended on a telescopic fork setup at the front and an off-set monoshock at the rear. The entire setup rides on 12-inch wheels at both ends. The wheels are shod in specifically built TVS Eurogrip tyres. The seat height is an accessible 770mm and the scooter tips the scales at 130kg.
For the most part, the X handles like you would expect a sporty TVS to. It is agile and quick to turn in and quite fun with its low centre of gravity. One thing that did catch my attention, however, was the soft setup of the front forks. When taking fast corners, it feels a little soft and bouncy, but slow down and the scooter feels planted. Despite the motorcycle-like lean angles we were carrying through corners, the TVS Eurogrip tyres grip well and provide a lot of confidence, never making me feel like I would lose traction.
The rider’s triangle is comfortable and riders of most sizes won’t have a problem on the scooter. I’m five-foot-ten-inches and my knees never came in the way of the handlebar, which is a problem I usually face on most other scooters. Braking comes courtesy of a disc brake setup at both ends and this is also the first electric scooter that gets a single-channel ABS. Braking performance was solid in the conditions we rode in, but how they perform in the real world is something that remains to be seen. The bite is sharp and it is very easy to lock up the rear. Now while that is fun from a sport/fun riding point of view, it would’ve been nice if TVS would offer the scooter with dual-channel ABS, especially considering the cost of the X. We did not get to test ride and handling properly because we were on a well-paved track, but that, like range and other parameters, will be covered in detail in our road test review.
TVS X features
The TVS X is probably the most feature-packed scooter on the market right now. I don’t think I’m too far off base in stating that the features it has are equivalent to those of a modern connected car. The 10.25-inch screen that takes centre stage is unlike anything we’ve seen on a scooter this side of Rs 5 lakhs. It looks like it has been inspired by the BMW CE 04 and it packs in a bunch of features. The list is exhaustive and nearly endless. But here are some that grab the most attention. The screen on the X is capable of playing full-length YouTube videos, scrolling through Facebook and Instagram reels, you can play video games, listen to music or even some preset relaxation sounds, make and receive calls and a lot more. The navigation system is also quite comprehensive with the ability to map to destinations with prompts telling you whether you’d be able to make it or not based on how much charge you have. You can also share your location with people. Apart from that, you can have different users, customise your home page, even get cricket scores and the list goes on. All these are apart from the endless telemetry that you can get on both the screen and the connected mobile app. Luckily, all these features get deactivated as soon as the scooter sets in motion. The scooter is keyless and can be unlocked with a pin, your smartphone, or your supported smartwatches as well. So essentially, this is a tablet on wheels and adds a whole new dimension to how you interact with your scooter. Apart from that, the first 2000 customers also get something called a concierge service which gives you access to 24x7 support and roadside assistance, plus a membership card that gives you access to a big list of restaurants, theatres, clubs and so on.
TVS X verdict
In terms of the overall experience that it offers, the TVS X is a big departure from what we are used to from a scooter. The focus here is not just to offer a connected riding experience but an entirely immersive way to interact with your scooters in ways you wouldn’t deem possible and to an extent, even necessary. In terms of sheer riding and performance, the X doesn’t reinvent the wheel or give you anything that doesn’t already exist. The real selling point here is the connectivity and the features. The scooter is riddled with a fair share of problems and there are a lot of teething issues that need to be sorted out before customers get their hands on the X. However, it is important to note that the majority of the issues are software-related and could potentially be fixed with OTA updates. However, the real question is that even if the scooter was flawless, would it be worth the Rs 2.5 lakh asking price? As it stands the scooter is far from flawless and needs a lot of work. The TVS X will appeal to a very niche audience especially considering the lofty asking price. But I will be able to give you a more educated answer when I spend a lot more time with the scooter.