What's new on the 450X?
While the X may look identical to the standard 450 when it comes to the design, it does come in colours we’ve not seen before. Ather has added this matte grey colour scheme, along with a mint green one, to the options list. The bigger changes though, are underneath the bodywork. The installed battery capacity has increased, and the motor has been retuned to develop a peak output of 6kW, up from 5.4kW. More importantly, the peak torque has gone up from 20.5Nm to 26Nm.
Ather has also updated the display on the 450X, and it now uses an Android-based OS and gets Bluetooth connectivity, enabling call and music related information. The scooter also features a 4G eSIM that enables the onboard Google Maps and automatic software updates. When compared to the first-gen 450, the X has also lost 11kg and features a slightly stiffer suspension to help it steer more quickly.
What's the Ather like when it comes real world numbers?
Thanks to the new 2.9kWh battery and a more efficient management system, the 450X impresses when it comes to the range. We put the electric scooter to the test and took it from 100 percent charge all the way to 0 percent and it managed to squeeze out 80.1km in its most efficient riding mode, Eco. That puts it right in the ballpark of what the company claims and also makes it the most efficient electric two-wheeler we’ve tested yet. It’s worth mentioning that Eco mode isn’t a big compromise as on most electric scooters and the 450X can still hit about 50kph in this mode.
The 450X also has three other riding modes – Ride, Sport and Warp. In the sportiest mode, which is Warp, the scooter returned 50.9km. To put that into perspective, that’s close to the maximum figures we’ve got from all of the cheaper China-sourced electric scooters we’ve tested so far. What has to be mentioned is that the Ather will only stay in Warp mode till it reaches 20 percent, after which it shifts into Eco mode and can’t be switched back till it's recharged.
We all know electric scooters impress when it comes to instant acceleration, but how does it perform in other respects?
The 450X doesn’t just impress when it comes to its acceleration, it blows you away. More power and less weight have given this scooter a 0-60kph time of 7.36sec, making it the fastest scooter we’ve tested across powertrains. For reference, it’s half a second quicker than the Suzuki Access and more than 1.5sec quicker than the BS6 TVS Ntorq. That said, after 60kph, the acceleration slows down quite a bit, and by 80kph, the Access would have overtaken it. Nevertheless, the Ather 450X still manages to hit a speedo-indicated 90kph.
When it comes to its handling, the retuned suspension, 12-inch wheels and dynamic chassis, all come together to deliver precise handling. Luckily, this has not come at the expense of comfort and the ride quality still remains quite pliant, even with a pillion.
The weight loss and improved weight distribution also come together to make it even more flickable. The powerful disc brakes at both ends continue to inspire confidence, but there’s no ABS and the rear can lock fairly easily even with combined brakes. The only real limiting factor to the scooter’s handling comes in the form of the narrow range-friendly tyres.
Despite being quite a new company, Ather has garnered a fan following and its scooter is even considered to be one of the best electric two-wheelers on sale in India. What is it exactly that makes it so special?
There’s a lot to like about the Ather, but what helps it really stand out is its minimalistic and classy approach. For instance, the bodywork is quite sharp, but it’s not over the top by any means. Scooters are meant to be narrow, light and practical, and the Ather has stuck to that formula. The simple, yet modern LED lighting also looks quite cool. Where you will really notice the difference though is in the quality and attention to detail seen in premium aluminium components like the mirror stalks, the number plate bracket and the side stand. The exposed section of the lattice frame is a visual delight as well.
Another thing that has earned Ather its fans is that even though sales volumes have been low so far, the scooter has proved itself to be reliable over the long term.
Where can you get one and how much does it cost to buy and run?
Ather has proven its ability to make a high-quality scooter, but it's only now that the Bengaluru-based company has begun expanding its network. At present, the Ather 450X is available in 12 cities across India, and the company is working to expand as we speak.
Thanks to the state subsidy provided by Delhi, the Ather 450X costs the lowest there, at Rs 1.47 lakh (ex-showroom). The price in every other city, meanwhile, is an eye-watering Rs 1.6 lakh and that’s before registration and insurance charges. At the time of purchase, you can opt for the company’s Dot charger, which is a wall-mounted unit that can be had instead of the portable unit. It’s a more permanent solution for a garage space. If you want the portable charger in addition to the Dot or vice-versa, it costs Rs 11,000.
Both these chargers don’t offer the fast charging function and that can only be done via the Ather Grid public charging network. The Grid is free till March 31, 2021, and the cost per charge after that is yet to be decided. If you are wondering why Ather won’t allow you to fast charge it at home is because doing it frequently can have an adverse effect on the battery.
According to Ather, each full charge on the 450X is estimated to cost around Rs 12-20.
Ather 450X review, road test