Now, this is where the S1 Pro shines on paper. And Ola’s claims, if nothing else, do catch one’s attention. The scooter uses a 3.97kwh battery pack, which drives a motor with rated power and torque figures of a little over 7bhp and 58Nm of torque. And Ola claims the scooter can complete a 0-40kmph run in three seconds, and then will only take an additional two seconds to hit 60kmph. Moreover, the claimed top speed is 115kmph. So, as we said, the S1 Pro does shine on paper.
In the real world, the feel of performance is certainly strong in Hyper mode. And there’s no doubting that the scooter is quick. There’s just no letting off in acceleration once the S1 gets going. The fact that it remains sure-footed throughout allows one to exploit this performance. Braking, too, especially in terms of bite and power, matches the scooter’s performance quite well.
Furthermore, one doesn’t always need the Hyper mode to feel the potent performance of the S1. Even in Sport and Normal mode, the S1 Pro never feels slow or sluggish. It’s obviously not as charged up - for the lack of a better term - but it never feels slow enough to be boring. The scooter’s top speeds are, of course, limited depending on the mode. But, unless you are in Eco mode, which takes the S1 Pro from being a hare to a sloth, it isn’t much of a bother. But, there is a catch. The speedo on the S1 Pro overreads quite a bit. So, when the display shows that the scooter is travelling at 60kmph, it is in fact doing 52kmph.
Similarly, when the display reads 100kmph, the S1 is actually at 88kmph. And then your sense of accomplishment takes a beating because you thought you hit 116kmph, eclipsing the claimed 115kmph, only to realise you barely made it to three digits, hitting a true speed of 100kmph. As a result, it puts all of Ola’s performance claims under a cloud of doubt. But having said that, there’s no taking away from the fact that the feel-of-performance, and the fun element it brings in, is still very strong for the scooter.
There are other smaller issues too. For instance, one can only enjoy the Hyper mode for a few minutes before it switches to Normal. Trying to move back to Sport or Hyper thereafter only returns an audible warning to take things easy. One must then stop, let it cool down, and only then can you regain access to the quicker modes.
The S1 Pro also lacks feel. There’s a distinct lack of feedback from the scooter, be it the throttle response, how the brakes feel, or even how it reacts to inputs when tipping into a corner. This coldness in communication makes the Ola feel like a tool rather than something that might bring joy.