Struggling Tata pulls plug on sportscar project
Mumbai, India - In the face of a domestic sales downturn, Tata has drastically curtailed its independent TaMo aspirational brand.
It will also miss the 2018 Geneva motor show, for the first time in nearly two decades; it has no new models planned for Europe, and the cannot justify the cost of building concepts that won’t lead to anything. Even its prestigious but expensive Indian truck-racing series will go at the end of this season.
The new premium division had already showcased its first design, the mid-engined RaceMo two-seater sports coupé, at the 2017 Geneva motor show and was reportedly gearing up for a production run in 2018 of between 250 and 999 units, depending on which Tata insider you were talking to. Now it seems that RaceMo production will be limited to a handful of cars, built up from components already to hand, before the whole operation gets put on ice.
The right stuff
Which is a pity, because it seems to have all the right stuff. The RaceMo is based on a scaleable platform called MoFlex, designed around multi-material sandwich sheeting not unlike the aluminium honeycomb structure that was popular for racing cars before the invention of carbon fibre, which can be laser-cut by computer-operated machinery, making it instantly scaleable in any dimension.
It’s powered by an existing high-performance 1.2-litre Tata turbopetrol four called the Revotron, rated for 140kW at 6500 revs and 210Nm at 2500rpm, driving the rear wheels via a six-speed automated manual gearbox with paddle shift and a push-button reverse, getting it off the line to 100km/h in less than six seconds.
Suspension is by double wishbone all round, wheels are 17 inch in front, 18 inch at rear, wearing 205/50 and 235/45 radials respectively.
The radical scissor-doored body, styled by Tata’s design studio in Italy, is 3835mm long on a 2430mm wheelbase, 1810mm wide and just 1208mm high; the race-styled cockpit has three digital display screens, using advanced electronics that make it India’s most connected car to date.
At the time of its reveal in Geneva, prices were quoted as starting at 2 500 000 rupees (R525 000) but scarcity value alone is likely to drive that number up.