Chennai, Jun 18: Featuring the Evolutionary Unit Construction Engine (UCE), auto major Royal Enfield (RE) today launched "Thunderbird Twinspark 350 cc" motorcycle. Priced at Rs 1.03 lakh with a fuel efficiency of 45 to 50 km per litre, the new vehicle catering to the domestic market, is RE's first among a series of models that feature the UCE. Eicher Motors MD and CEO Siddartha Lal and Royal Enfield CEO R L Ravichandran told reporters at the launch function that RE would introduce four new models by the end of 2010-11, with two each catering to the Indian market and international market, including European and other markets, respectively. The motorcyles for international market would be 500 cc vehicles.
Mr Ravichandran said by 2010, India would have other such twinspark models, including the Machismo, Electra and the Bullet 350. ''For international markets, we are currently test marketing the Bullet Electra EFI and in November this year, the UCE 500 EFI will be unveiled in auto shows at Cologne and Birmingham,'' he added. About UCE, he said it marks a dramatic shift in the traditional Royal Enfield engine architecture. While the traditional Royal Enfield engine was distinguished by an external clutch and gearbox, in the UCE, both these elements were integrated within a common crankcase space.
The new Royal Enfield engine was more compact and offer benefits of reduced transmission losses, reduced friction, lower maintenance and higher reliability.
To a question, Mr Ravichandran said RE, in all, sold 39,000 units last year. With the introduction of this new model, the company was expecting an overall 20 per cent growth in vehicle sales over last year. He also announced that the company's production facility at Tiruvottriyur in North Chennai, would be increased from 40,000 vehicles to 60,000 vehicles by 2010-11.