One of the first e-scooters to capture the imagination of young two-wheeler buyers and bring in that sense of ownership pride was the Ather 450X.
Its sleek design was ahead of its times and brought in an air of modernity which was missing amongst the e-scooters of that generation. Ather Energy’s scooters were also one of the first to offer an on-road performance that didn’t seem like an ‘electric’ compromise.
The current Generation 2 Ather 450 Plus and the 450X have had a strong fan following. The only expectations that owners probably feel are not being fully met could be riding range and on-road dynamics. That is what the folks at Ather have addressed with the new Gen 3 version of the 450X.
You are unlikely to spot the difference between the outgoing Generation 2 and the new-gen 450X that you see in these pictures. That is because there is none. The design and even the colour schemes for the new Ather 450X are identical to the outgoing model. Folks at Ather say that the company was a divided house when the issue of design for the new gen was being discussed. The final decision was to leave it unchanged. The sleek body panels, and the chiseled front design, which while giving it a modern profile, are also focused on practicality make the 450X an e-scooter that is still fresh.
The slightly retro, but very aerodynamic finish, with contrast elements for the rear mono-shock and the exposed frame parts, add to the charm of the e-scooter. The fact that the design remains unchanged for the Gen 3 will likely be overlooked by new buyers and leave existing owners happy.
The electricals are all LEDs in the Ather 450X Gen 3 and the 7-inch touchscreen on the handlebar is a carryover from the Gen2.
Two changes to the external design are focused on practicality and usability. One is the new set of rear-view mirrors that are now better finished in cast metal and better integrated, with a sturdier base that doesn’t swivel. The mirror is also said to offer 2X more visibility for the rider.
The other change is the optional addition of a side-step at the rear. Both the mirror stalks and the side-step frame have been fashioned out of cast aluminium. The 450X is still being offered only with a side stand; a centre stand can’t be integrated since the battery pack is mounted under the floor of the scooter.
The rest of the Ather 450X’s design also continues to remain the same. The contoured seat is good, set at the right height (780mm) and affords a good riding posture. Structurally too nothing has changed in Gen 3. The aluminium frame and the rear swing arm have also been carried over from the outgoing model. The battery pack under the floor of the Ather 450X has become larger and is now a 3.7kW pack.
The aluminium alloy housing for the increased number of cells has obviously become larger too and as a result, the mounts for the battery pack have been changed. The suspension set-up involving twin forks at the front and a mono-shock at the rear have also been retained.
The ride is a little different though because of a completely new set of tyres. The Ather 450X Gen 3 gets a special pair of tyres that have been co-developed by MRF and Ather. Featuring a new compound and different tread profile, they are said to offer 22 per cent more grip on wet roads, and even more, on the regular tarmac, the tyres also enable shorter stopping distances. Shod on 12-inch rims, the rear tyre is wider now at 100-80-12, instead of the earlier 90-90-12. This also allows a 16 per cent increase in the contact patch, translating into more road grip. Ather claims that this hasn’t affected riding range or rolling resistance, thanks to the new compound and construction of the tyres.
Tyre-pressure monitoring is also being offered as an optional accessory now. Integrated into the tyre and theft-proof, the TPM reminds the rider to keep the tyres inflated at the right level. With e-scooter owners skipping the trip to the fuel pump, the TPM can help keep a regular check of the tyre pressure, and consequently ensure riding range is optimised.
Behind the 7-inch touchscreen, Ather engineers have made another change that will probably deliver tangible benefits to its riders only in the future. While the underlying electronics are all the same including the Snapdragon processor and the Android OS, the RAM capacity has been doubled to 2GB. Ather claims that this will open a lot of new possibilities for the UI/UX, including the integration of voice commands, offline maps, heavier graphics for the interface, multi-language support etc.; these could be just an OTA update away in the future. Improvement in response time, smoother transitions between menu screens, and better performance under hot conditions are said to be some of the other benefits of this ramp-up in RAM capacity.
Ather 450X’s Gen3 model sports the same PMS (permanent magnet synchronous) electric motor that the previous generation featured. The motor generates the same output too - a continuous 3.3kW and a peak of 6.2kW (8.7hp). It also continues to feature a belt drive that delivers instant torque (26Nm) to the rear wheel. The performance parameters weren’t found wanting in the previous Gen and carrying over the same keeps the Ather 450X at the same benchmark levels. Further, the overall weight of the new model is said to have increased only by a marginal 5kgs to 111.6kgs. So, throttle response, and on-road performance of the motor feel similar.
But what has changed is, of course, the riding range across all the ride modes, thanks to the larger capacity battery pack. There is also the addition of a new ‘SmartECO’ riding mode, to the previous Gen’s Eco, Ride, Sport and Warp modes.
The ARAI-certified riding range for the 450X Gen3 has gone up to 146kms and True Range (Ather’s claim) is at 105kmper charge. The real-world riding range should be very close to this number in Eco mode. The range in Ride and Warp modes are about 85kms and 70kms respectively. The top speed is 80kmph and the 0-40kmph acceleration now comes in at 3.3seconds. Overall, the larger battery pack is expected to improve range, offer more consistent performance, and better diagnostics feedback.
The new Ather 450X Gen3 is a subtle upgrade; nothing to brag about with your neighbours. The higher range is certainly welcome and the prospects of improved touchscreen functionality will be worth looking forward to. The SmartECO mode does an intelligent job of responding to rider demands, so you won’t be strapped with the fixed limitations of the Eco mode. Smartphone integration via the app and some of the connected features are very useful. But, most of all it is certainly more usable and reliable with the increase in battery range. Prices have been announced since we made the video review, and the Ather 450X now retails at a marginally higher price tag ranging between ₹1.37 lakh to ₹1.58 lakh depending on the city your will be registering it.