The Geneva Motor Show means one thing: fantastic cars will be dangled in front of our faces, before being snatched away and being told that it'll never see the light of day, as it's "only a concept." The latest vehicle we'd purchase if they'd let us is Tata's Megapixel, a four-seater compact hybrid EV that promises a range of 560 miles (900km) on a single tank of fuel. A hub motor sits atop each of the four wheels, driven by a petrol-electric engine under the cabin, with a wireless inductive charging panel for topping up the batteries at home. It's designed for the city: with a turning circle of 180 degrees in a 2.8 meter space and sliding doors for easy entry. Inside, there's a rear-projected dashboard with a joystick controller (that reminds us of BMWs iDrive) and a smartphone dock for connectivity. Head on past the break to see the vehicle in action and wonder if it'll ever reach the market, like we're doing.
Geneva, March 6, 2012: Tata Motors today presented at the 82nd Geneva Motor Show the Tata Megapixel, a new four-seater city-smart global range extended electric vehicle (REEV) concept for the performance-seeking and environment-conscious motorist anywhere in the world. Combining a lithium ion phosphate battery and an on-board petrol engine generator for recharging on the move, the Tata Megapixel offers a range of up to 900 km (with a single tank of fuel), path-breaking CO2 emission of just 22 gm / km and fuel economy of 100 km / litre (under battery only power).
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Prakash M. Telang, Managing Director - India Operations, Tata Motors, said, "The Tata Megapixel, developed by our design centres in India, the UK and Italy, is our idea of a city car for discerning motorists in any megacity of the world. It is a result of the progress we have made on the Tata Pixel, displayed last year, and also denotes the company's future design direction."
The class-leading 'Zero Turn' drive system of the Tata Pixel (shown at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show) has been taken to an even higher level of manoeuvrability in the Tata Megapixel. The car's electric drive has four independent electric motors, one at each wheel. When parking, the electric hub motors drive the wheels in opposite directions, while the front wheels are turned at an acute angle, enabling an exceptional 2.8 metre turning radius. The at-home charging system is an as innovative induction charging system. The car has simply to be parked over the induction pad for charging to begin.
The Tata Megapixel is as distinctive in elegantly melding Indian uniqueness – in colours, graphic themes or materials – with global styling preferences. The integrated lamp and grille graphics sweep back over the front wheel arches to render a dynamic front end. It is echoed on the panoramic roof, creating a harmony between sun & shade and sense of interior space. The floating C-pillar and wrap-around belt line finisher integrate perfectly with the sculpted body surface, flowing freely to the rear and encapsulating the 5-spoke wheel design.
A double-sliding door system and the car's B-pillar less design make entry/exit easy, besides superb visibility. The battery layout and hub motors maximize the interior package. So, the Tata Megapixel comfortably accommodates four adults with luggage. The front seats are cantilevered on the central tunnel, releasing floor space for additional storage. Light leather trims and rose metal details accentuate the joyous marriage of richness of tradition and innovativeness of technology.
This fusion is heightened by an advanced human machine interface (HMI). The console docking point can connect a smart phone with the car. The built-in large touchscreen HMI, at the centre of the instrument panel, thus becomes a common access point for the repertoire of the smart device and for controlling the functions of the car, like temperature, ventilation, driving modes and performance.
Tata Motors' displays also include the new generation Tata Safari Storme SUV, the Tata Aria crossover, the Tata Indigo Manza sedan and the Tata Indica Vista hatchback.
About Tata Motors
Tata Motors is India's largest automobile company, with consolidated revenues of Rs. 1,23,133 crores ($ 27 billion) in 2010-11. Through subsidiaries and associate companies, Tata Motors has operations in the UK, South Korea, Thailand, Spain and South Africa. Among them is Jaguar Land Rover, the business comprising the two iconic British brands. It also distributes Fiat cars in India, and has an industrial joint venture with Fiat in India. With over 6.5 million Tata vehicles plying in India, Tata Motors is the country's market leader in commercial vehicles and among the top three in passenger vehicles. It is also the world's fourth largest truck manufacturer and the third largest bus manufacturer. Tata cars, buses and trucks are being marketed in several countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia and South America. (www.tatamotors.com)