Tata Motors has confirmed its decision to axe the Racemo sportscar project as part of its major cost-reduction drive. The decision was made public yesterday, at Tata Motors’ announcement of its FY2018 results. “There are projects at this point of time that we think do not have economic value, for example we have stopped the TaMo Racemo,” said PB Balaji, chief financial officer, Tata Motors. Autocar India had first broken the news of Tata reconsidering the TaMo project in the July 2017 issue of the magazine.
Our report on the Racemo in the July 2017 issue of Autocar India.
The announcement has also put the future of the TaMo sub-brand in question, since the investments of Rs 250 crore allotted for the project will now be allocated to the commercial vehicle business that is in the midst of its own turnaround. TaMo was the company’s sub-brand to develop highly aspirational cars, and would share little with Tata Motors’ current portfolio of passenger vehicles. Racemo sportscar apart, an electric hatchback and a coupe-like crossover were envisaged as TaMo products.
Interestingly, Tata Motors is also open to proposals from companies interested in taking over the Racemo project. “At a later point of time, if we find someone who can monetise the project for a better value, we will be more than happy to share it with them,” said Balaji. Apart with discontinuing the Racemo project, Tata Motors is also selling certain assets related to its defence business and disinvesting from several other holdings like Tata Technologies Limited.
The Racemo is TaMo’s first product and was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 2017. Powered by a twin-turbocharged version of Tata’s 1.2-litre Revotron engine, with power rated at 190hp, the drive was channelled to the rear wheels via a six-speed AMT transmission. Tata also showcased an electric version of the sportscar, the Racemo+-, at the 2018 Auto Expo.
The Racemo was born as a virtual concept for digital gaming platforms but Tata Motors’ then chairman, Cyrus Mistry, was so taken by the physical prototype that he pushed for it to be built as a limited-production model. The mid-engined sportscar was the first application of a multi-material sandwich structure (branded MoFlex by Tata), the rights to which was bought in 2007 by Tata Motors from its creator, the legendary Italian designer Marcello Gandini. The Racemo was also to be a technology demonstrator for TaMo, featuring advance connected car technologies.
It’s a pity, then, that with Tata Motors’ turnaround 2.0 in action, the Racemo is back to square one –limited only to digital platforms.