Bike-scooters/ First-ride/ Ather 450 Apex | Sprint, Sass, Special | First Ride Review

Ather 450 Apex | Sprint, Sass, Special | First Ride Review

But an Apex predator isn’t meant to go grocery shopping, it is destined to hunt.

For

Looks, Performance and Dart like handling

Against

Not the most practical electric scooter

Overview

Do you think the living beings that came after the mass extinction of dinosaurs had it easy? When something is nearing its extinction and a new beginning is basking over the horizon, a drastic overhaul is a part of the process. After the current species get completely wiped off, the successors often find it hard to adapt. Sometimes, joining the fray of the dead. The current scenario in the automotive industry is experiencing the same paradigm shift, from fossil fuels to alternate energy solutions. Amidst this chaos, if a formidable force announces that it has completed its 10th year of survival, it calls for a celebration. To commemorate its 10th year of formation, Ather Energy has rolled out the 450 Apex - its fastest and flashiest electric scooter till date. 

Ather took its own sweet time to compose the 450 formula and it has worked wonders for the company, spawning different variants based on the same platform. The same application, in a slightly different tune, is now being implemented on the Apex too. Electric scooters have no business being loud but the Apex is, visually as well as aurally. Let’s talk about the former first. This isn’t the first time that we are seeing Ather Energy betting on transparent body panels for the sake of exclusivity. They have done it before with the Series One limited-edition scooters. But what they hadn’t done so far, is drape their star child in an exclusive shade of Indium Blue. It makes the scooter look all the more striking and even when you feel the paint, the satin finish implies that the Apex has received some more love on the production line. Since the underpinnings are majorly clutter free, Ather wasn’t afraid to flaunt its gorgeous frame finished in a bright orange shade. One good look at the scooter and you know it means serious business. Another standout feature on the Ather Apex visually are the bright-orange coloured alloys that  go along really well with the rest of the scooter. Beware KTM, now Ather also knows how to utilize a radiant shade like Orange. In a true Ather fashion, the build quality absolutely sublime and in a true Ather fashion again, practicality has taken a back seat here with minimal floorboard space and adequate boot space. But an Apex predator isn’t meant to go grocery shopping, it is destined to hunt. And hunt, we did.

I had been on the road for the past 15 days before the Ather Apex first ride event. Despite having a bucketful of caffeine, I was still finding it hard to keep my eyes open during the briefing. A few moments later, I realised that I didn’t need that caffeine fix, what I needed was some hot laps on the Ather 450 Apex. A whole gokart track was at our disposal and the sun had already set. All the numbers that were thrown during the briefing session came alive. Since the Apex is the flagship scooter in the Ather lineup, it is also the fastest and has the highest claimed range. With the same 3.7kWh battery pack, Ather has managed to churn out even more oomph. Peak power output now stands at 7 kW, instead of 6.4 kW. It assists the Apex in clocking the fastest sprint time of 2.9 seconds to achieve 40kmph on the speedo. Moreover, the Apex is also the only scooter in Ather’s lineup that can touch the magical three digit figure on the speedometer as the top speed now stands at 100kmph. What’s surprising though, is the fact that even after making the motor dish out more performance, the claimed range has gone up from 150km to 157km. However, the biggest gun in Apex’s armory is the newly introduced Warp+ mode. 

In simpler automotive terms, Ather’s Warp mode is Tesla’s ludicrous mode. And Warp+ mode is basically ludicrous+ mode. In the warp mode itself, the stock Ather 450 is one of the quickest electric scooters in India but the torque pull that you feel after slotting the scooter in warp mode, sort of starts fading away after crossing 60kmph. But, in the Warp+ mode, the Apex keeps on pulling harder even after inching close to 90kmph mark on the speedometer. To enhance the sense of speed even more, the UI of the instrument cluster changes its shade to purple and even the graphics add to the overall experience. The way that the Apex slingshots from a standstill, worked better than any strong coffee that I’ve ever gulped down my throat. The performance on tap in the Warp+ mode is commendable and so is the way that this performance is delivered because the throttle calibration is on point in the Apex too. 

One of the most standout aspects of Ather electric scooters since their inception has been their razor sharp handling. This was the first time that I was riding an Ather scooter in a closed environment. A whole gokart track at our disposal meant we could go ballistic with the Apex and going ballistic, we did! It is sort of alarming. The urgency that it tips into a corner. Almost like love at first sight. You see her and you commit to her the very next moment. This urgency becomes even more impressive because it might tip into a corner with an alarming reflex but it holds its line exactly the way it is supposed to. MRF’s grippy set of tyres at both ends also contribute to its formidable handling prowess. Although we couldn’t test the Apex out on the streets, assuming that it gets the same suspension tune as the other Athers, we are expecting it to have a rather stiff ride quality. What’s impressive though, is the braking performance. Both the front and the rear brake are sharp, responsive and provide good feedback.

The Ather 450 Apex turned out to be a bolt of lightning around bends, proving itself to be an absolute weapon for go kart tracks. Even at a hefty price tag of INR 1.89 Lakh, the Ather 450 Apex makes sense because what you’re getting is an electrifying riding experience coupled with exclusivity. It can wake you up from a deep slumber and when you stop to look at it, it is going to bowl you over even more. People, this is how you pull off an anniversary edition electric scooter!



TopGear Magazine May 2024