Tata Racemo EV makes India debut at Auto Expo
7th Feb 2018 11:55 am
Tata sportscar gets its first India showing at the Auto Expo 2018; new Racemo +- EV version shown alongside petrol-engined show car.
The Tata Racemo dropped jaws when the covers came off it at the 2017 Geneva motor show, and the car has had the same effect at the 2018 Auto Expo too. Auto Expo 2018 marks the first time the Racemo has been put on display in India, and what makes the appearance all the more special is the unveiling of an electric version of the car, in addition to the original turbo-petrol concept.
The all-electric version of the Racemo that has been christened 'Racemo +-' comes powered by a 150kW (or about 203hp) electric motor that draws charge from a lithium-ion battery pack. Tata claims a full charge gives the Racemo +- a range of 350km. Also noteworthy is the option of fast charging for the battery pack, but there's not much information at the moment.
The regular Racemo has been shown with the same mid-mounted powertrain as the car in Geneva – a 190hp, twin-turbo version of Tata’s three-cylinder, 1.2-litre petrol engine. Drive is sent to the rear wheels via six-speed AMT gearbox that can be operated via paddles at the steering wheel.
The radical-looking Racemo comes built on a patented multi-material sandwich structure called MOFlex. Tata's MOFlex sandwich structure consists of two composite skins with foam filling injected in between to form an incredibly stiff and light panel. One big advantage of this production method is that it gives great freedom in design. And as is very evident, Tata’s designers have made the most of that liberty. The Racemo’s design is an interplay of multiple surfaces and extreme shapes aimed at making heads turn; something it does with ease. The wide front grille has a hint of the Tata family look, while the complex-looking rear, with its split and sculpted flying buttresses, seems to draw inspiration from the BMW i8. The Racemo’s butterfly doors also add greatly to the wow factor.
The cabin, with three high-res screens, looks straight out of a video game too, a virtual environment the car was originally designed for. The button-festooned steering wheel has large, bright red paddleshifters behind them, and the red accents are carried over to the switchgear, the pull straps for the door and the massive air-con vents which look like the exhaust of a fighter jet. The Racemo also boasts plenty of connected tech such as advanced navigation, predictive maintenance, remote monitoring and over-the-air updates using Microsoft cloud-based technologies.
What remains to be seen is how Tata will take the Racemo story forward. The sportscar started life as a model for digital racing platforms. But Tata’s then top management was so impressed by the concept that they green-lighted a project for low-volume production under a new ‘Tamo’ sub-brand. Subsequently, Tata Motors undertook a major cost-cutting drive and put plans for Tamo and the Racemo on hold.
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