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ASHOK LEYLAND DOST+ - Environmentally Efficient, Economically Viable

Published On Jul 29, 2019By Trucksdekho Editorial Team

Across the world, the Small Commercial Vehicle segment is among the largest selling commercial vehicles and along with the LCV’s, they account for a whopping 75% of the total volumes. Closer home in the Indian commercial vehicle market, things are largely on the same path. At present, the Small and Light Commercial Vehicle segment in India turns in around 62% of the total volume sold in the CV market. As per the experts, the market share of the S&LCV segment is poised to further increase in the foreseeable future and would be reaching the global averages soon. This expectation is largely based on the rapid growth in the purchasing power of the Indian middle class and the e-commerce boom. With every major CV maker wanting to have a bigger pie of this lucrative business, there has already been a slew of significant products and updates to long-running ones in the segment over the years. One of them is the Ashok Leyland Dost+, the widely popular entry-level LCV from the Chennai based maker.

The Ashok Leyland Dost range of small Commercial Vehicles was developed by the joint venture between Ashok Leyland and Nissan and was launched in the Indian market over a decade ago in 2008. The current entry-level Ashok Leyland Dost+ continues to stay true to the versatility, ease of use and overall experience of the original Dost that now has expanded into a range of SCV models. Over the years, this platform has won multiple awards and establishing the Ashok Leyland Dost range among the key players in the Indian Mini-Truck market. Continuing with the ‘Dost’ philosophy, the new-er Ashok Leyland Dost+ offers more of everything in a platform that has been well received throughout the country.

Now, it is well known that the Indian Automobile market (Passenger and Commercial vehicles alike) is unique with customers being extremely choosy and a plethora of weather/ geographic conditions interfering in product success. The SCV market is no different with all makers having their interpretation of customer requirements making a successful splash on the volume counters. However, the basics remain the same, the market demands an LCV that not only offers, maximum payload capacities from the smallest of footprints but also extremely frugal, low on maintenance and yet performance filled engines. This is where Ashok Leyland Dost + has been a revelation in the segment on many counts.

The Ashok Leyland Dost+ Benefit:

Improved Payload:

The Original Dost is widely used in both Intercity and Intracity applications while operating in the popular 2.5 Ton category. That it has been quite popular can be understood from the fact that the Dost has sold almost 2 lakh units over these years and the numbers continue to rise. However, the payload rating for the Dost was set at 1.25 Ton, this meant that the customers used to overload the vehicle trying to benefit from its frugal engine and sturdily built quality. Thus, it was evident that the maker needed to bring in a higher tonnage rating into the Dost platform catering to specific applications while bringing in a wider customer base.

Understanding the market requirements, Ashok Leyland decided that instead of the same product being sold for separate applications, it was smarter to add a new product, expanding the Dost range and the Ashok Leyland Dost + was born. This saw the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) rise to 2750 Kg with a corresponding increase in Payload capacity to a 1475 Kgs.

Improved Fuel Efficiency and Power Outputs:

With higher GVW and Payload ratings, the Ashok Leyland Dost + still offers a commendable and by far best in class fuel efficiency number of 19.9 Kmpl. This figure is almost 15% higher compared to its closest rival, the Mahindra Bolero Maxi Truck. the Dost was already a frugal, efficient and economic product, thus with added improvements, the Ashok Leyland Dost + transforms itself into an LCV that promises to offer incredible value from each trip, keeping the originals frugal fame intact.

Interestingly, all this comes even when the engine sees improvements in power outputs numbers to tackle extra weight parameters. The BS4 compliant 1478cc Turbo Charged Diesel Common Rail (TDCR) engine on the Ashok Leyland Dost+ makes 60bhp coming in at 3300rpm while the peak torque rating of 170Nm arrives in the 1600-2400rpm range. Transmission duties are taken care of by a 5-speed manual gearbox with a 240 mm diameter, Diaphragm, Single Dry Plate clutch assembly.

Improved Chassis and Suspension:

With an increase in power outputs and payload ratings, the Ashok Leyland Dost + offers a much larger load body size as compared to its rivals and gets 8.7 ft x 5.3 ft x 1.2 ft in dimension. This required an improved in the chassis as well as suspension setup and therefore the chassis in the Ashok Leyland Dost+ saw the wheelbase to be stretched to a longer 2510mm, an addition of 160mm over Dost. This translates into a stronger and rigid frame that should be more durable. Ashok Leyland has also used additional stiffeners and worked on strengthening the various chassis parts.

The suspension setups were also upgraded to handle the changes in loads on the Ashok Leyland Dost+ with the front suspension getting an upgraded Rigid Suspension with Parabolic Leaf Spring with Double Acting Shock Absorber (3 Nos). The rear suspension setup, on the other hand, is a - Semi Elliptical Leaf Spring Suspension with Double Acting Shock Absorber (6 Nos).

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