After a substantial time period, Hero MotoCorp has finally managed to put together its own metal thumping hearts. According to Mr. Pawan Munjal, MD & CEO of Hero MotoCorp, the company is developing as many as three new indigenous engines which will power the next-gen Heroes. The range includes a 110cc engine as well as a 250 cc mill, in addition to their bread-and-butter 100 cc mill.
*Pic Credit: Autocar India
Hero MotoCorp’s bugbear has been the inability to smelt its own mills. In the past decade, it was dependent on its partner Honda for the powerplants. Thanks to Honda’s powerplants, Hero has earned a somewhat unworthy tag of developing reliable mills. The contract for engine sharing is set to expire in 2014, and it hung as a question mark over Hero’s future.
However, Hero MotoCorp seems to be well on its way now. If Mr. Munjal is to be believed, the newly developed engines are more fuel-efficient than the current crop of engines plying on the roads at the moment. Hero MotoCorp has also claimed that the engines perform better than the current Hero engines.
Mr. Munjal has conceded that Honda’s exit had huge implications and huge shadows were cast over the R&D capabilities. Earlier, the Munjals had been having a home run because of Honda’s formidable footprint. Now, Hero MotoCorp is on a consolidation phase, working on development of its own capabilities as well as building alliances with other players.
The current partners include Austrian engine developer AVL Engineering, Engines Engineering of Italy and Erik Buell Racing (EBR) of the US. Hero MotoCorp has also clamped up a 49% stake in EBR, thus setting the tone for racier products. Simultaneously, the company will soon begin work for setting up an integrated R&D centre at Kukas in Rajasthan.
Hero MotoCorp has stated that the new engines will be plonked on their bikes starting 2014, probably after the Honda’s contract ceases. The 110cc engine will be used on their current products and will be ready for commercial launch towards the festive season of next year. The 100cc engine is a vertical engine currently being developed specifically for the Nigerian market. However, we are really interested in the 250cc mill and are tuned to its developments. This makes us wonder, can (by any chance) the new hidden Hero’s flagship bikes that were caught on test recently sport this new 250cc motor..?