Ather 450X first ride review

With a plethora of cosmetic and technical updates over the Ather 450, is the new member of the tribe ─ the Ather 450X. Is it worth the buy? Let's find out

Words by: Harshit Srinivas
Photographs by: Aniket Kole and Sairaj Jadhav

Post a launch, quite a few cars or motorcycles have managed to be successful in setting up a benchmark for their rivals, and Ather electric scooters have been one of them since their first launch, the 450. But does that apply to the 450X as well? Well, to help you out with all those answers, we chanced upon to get the Ather 450X for the detailed review. Mind you, at first glance I thought nothing has changed a lot on the design front, but Ather Energy claims to have worked upon the honest feedback it either received from us (read journos) or the existing customers and has reworked making a few cosmetic tweaks, and incremental updates for the 450X. And before talking about the latter, let’s start with what has changed and what has been updated with it.

Design
The 450X does retain the same silhouette as the 450 and is available in three color schemes, Space Grey, White and Mint Green. What we tested was the Space Grey shade, which for me, stood out from the other two, that too with yellow highlights on the body and rims. The other two shades also get the same highlights but, either in green or orange, which complement the White and Mint Green color scheme. Of course, looks are down to the individual, but with the simple and clean design language of the 450X, it appears to be one of those good-looking electric scooters for me.

Electric Motor
Powered by a 2.9 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the 450X’s battery is even better than the outgoing 450’s battery pack of 2.71 kWh. Why? Well, the bigger the better and this theory is clearly incorporated in 450X’s battery management system as well. The cells are now increased from 16350 to 21700 in number, which accounts for better performance and an additional range of 10kms over the predecessor. The electric motor puts out a peak output of 6kw and 26Nm, which is a marginal increase of 0.6 kW and 4Nm over the 450. The above figure does look impressive on paper for an electric scooter like this. But the next big thing in the 450X was the Warp mode, which is the new mode added to the three existing modes Eco, Ride, and Sport, to go ‘whoosh’ with it switched on. Claimed to hit the 40kmph mark within a flat 3.29 seconds time with the Warp mode active, you notice heads turn around as they already saw you swish past them in the traffic with an EV, which is a rare sight for many.

In the Warp Mode, the range drops to 55km when fully charged, which is decent enough because ideally, you will use it for an enthusiastic ride in the city or when you have the need to make it from point A to B in less time. The other three modes Eco, Ride, and Sport offer a range of 84km, 69km, and 59km when juiced up completely and do not appear to be a matter of concern during those office or urgent grocery runs in the day. Also, the batteries can be charged using a wall box at your home in just 3 hours 35 minutes, and while in a hurry the accessible charging points around you, keep you on the go with a charging rate of 10km in 15minutes of charge. The 450X also comes with a portable charger that can be plugged into any 5A plug-point for a full charge in less than 6 hours. What I think is that the range anxiety issues can be things of the past for those who are willing to go for the Ather 450X and if residing in metro cities, you get plenty of accessible charging stations for now around you with the Ather app and even if you don’t the other alternative modes keep you going with a decent amount of charging in less time.

Ride and Handling
Honestly, I have not ridden the Ather 450, and giving any verdict in comparison to its ride and handling would be unfair. But, what I have ridden, is what I will put out here and that starts with the lightweight characteristics of the 450X. Boasting the aluminum-made lightweight chassis, the 450X is very agile. With Ather’s claims of reducing the front weight by 11 kg, the handling is easy and smooth. It maneuvers quite easily in busy city roads, and not once did I feel the need to make too many corrections, even in the Warp mode. The 450X is now sharper and the suspension setup is also on the firmer side, which easily soaks up the bumps and undulations. Though I felt that the 450X may not be that smooth and quick with the gigantic stature like mine on it, but I was wrong, and thanks to the low lying battery weight beneath the footboard, that allowed me to push it harder, without compromising on the joy of riding.

Features
The Ather 450 was already loaded with features such as LED headlamp and taillamp setup, auto-switch off turn indicators, bike connected features, park assist, and a reverse drive. But, this was not all and with all the user feedback and data collected by the brand through existing customers, things have been really worked upon and there it stands out with features such as dark mode, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, smartphone integration into the instrument dash and switchable mode between Android to Linux. And the features do work seamlessly with all the phones, and the touchscreen is intuitive with no struggle of toggling between the functions.

Verdict
The Ather 450X should appeal to those who are looking for a sportier electric scooter. With a perfect balance between modern tech and zippy performance, it surely appeals to be an ideal option for those who are looking for a perfect blend of sporty characteristics and modern features. Speaking of which, this electric scooter ain’t cheap and with a price tag of Rs 1.44 lakh, it is pricier than its rivals. Also, you need to shell out Rs 400/month for the data transmission cost which is an inescapable cost with this hefty tag. But you also have the choice to go for a subscription service instead, where you pay Rs 99,000 upfront and Rs 1999 every month that includes the maintenance charges as well which I’d say does not appear to be a bad deal either. But, even after this you still get the best looking and a sportier electric scooter in the market at this price.