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RCA Tata 'Space' project

Mon, 28 Mar 2011

First year students at the Royal College of Art in London, UK, presented their interpretations of a small Tata that boasted internationally appealing Indian character.

Following on from the Indica and Nano small cars, the project aimed to call out existing typologies for the brand and create an innovative and internationally relevant product. The brief also aimed to build on – and assist – Tata's fast-track development to be a leading small car global brand by building on the brand's extensive portfolio beyond the automotive sector.

Tata Yotta
Niels van Roij
The Yotta concept is a vehicle aimed at small transportation companies. Based around a central driving position, which gives an uncompromised view of the road, the flexible interior boasts removable hammock-like seats as well as a flat floor to allow luggage to be stored throughout the cabin. The Yotta's exterior design includes fenders that form an eyebrow above the headlights, creating a new DRG and DNA for the Tata brand. Elsewhere, luggage can also be mounted on the roof, to increase the load capacity. Van Roij claims that the Yotta will bring people and their goods from A to B during working hours whilst remaining the ideal family car for running errands and leisure activities.

Tata Zari
Teeravit Hanharutaivan
The Zari by Teeravit Hanharutaivan is a four-seat yet compact electric car, aimed specifically at young fashion concious people who value aesthetics. The car combines a smooth and simple surface language with a complicated structure underneath to target its audience. The open-top two-seater features an asymmetrical body constructed from a semi-opaque material that sits atop all the mechanical and electronic hardware. Hanharutaivan states that the Zari is inspired by sculptural pieces that indicate the deep history and multi-society of both India and Tata.

Tata Intro
Paul Nichols
The Tata Intro by Paul Nichols aims to introduce the Tata brand values of responsibility, social well-being and affordability into new and emerging markets. Nichols claims that the Intro communicates these values by providing a durable design, which keeps its value in the face of harsh and punishing ultra-urban environments. Created using panels made from plastics with a high rate of elasticity, tight shutlines are eliminated and minor collisions are simply made irrelevant, thus aiming to keep the value longer than a traditional, precision-based vehicle.

Tata Tattoo
Pablo Velasco
Based around the ideology of its namesake, the Tata Tattoo is said to wrap around the driver and cabin, just as a tattoo wraps around the skin of its owner. The individual tapes that wraparound and surround the cabin create a new formal language and car morphology. The Tattoo is an 'ultra sports car' for one person that combines simple and traditional values of the car with a more dynamic and modern design language. Powered by two kinetic energy recovery units in the front wheels and two motors in the rear wheels, all four wheels steer to enhanced its dynamic driving and handling characteristics.

Tata Exploration
Peter Wilkins
Wilkins' Tata Exploration is a vehicle designed for young adventurous people who are out to 'seek that exhilarating experience.' The vehicle's main premise is to be an accessory designed to be admired by not only the owner, but also their friends and peers. Large diameter wheels and brakes add to the cars sporting aesthetic, but as Wilkins explains: "Don't let the pretty exterior fool you, the Exploration is not shy to get its hands dirty." With the car sporting an easy clean, waterproof interior and an all-electric drivetrain, the Exploration provides a viable transport solution for today's adventurous youth.

Tata Ferro
Lena Knab
Knab's Tata Ferro draws inspiration from the principals of ferrofluid. The fluid design of the Ferro is activated when the electrical engine is turned on, providing a magnetic field for the fluid to react to. According to Knab, "ferrofluid reacts to magnetic fields and forms interesting geometrical structures, which are growing out of tensioned and calm surfaces." The resulting design is only achieved when the electrical engine is engaged.

Tata Concept Re-Form
Laurence Finnegan
Inspired by the core values of Indian culture and society, the Re-Form is a metaphor for the reforming image of Tata as both an international brand and a global entity. The Re-Form focuses on providing a versatile small car with a 'big car attitude' towards interior space. Aimed at the urban city commuter, the electric two-door hatchback observes the interaction and consideration of both interior and exterior space. As a result, the Re-Form aims to provide a vehicle layout better suited to the modern urban environment, whilst providing a better experience for the user when travelling.

Tata B²
Jan Rosenthal
Capitalizing on Tata's ambition to become a world leading small segment manufacturer, the B² aims to broaden the product range by the addition of a lifestyle-oriented two-seater with 'an internationally appealing character.' Inspired by the historical Japanese Kei-Car sport coupés, the B² concept is aimed at young, international customers for whom Tata strives to become a reasonable, yet emotional brand. The tandem seating arrangement allows a cabin scenario as intimate as a motorcycle, whilst providing a distinctive design feature.

Continues →

By John O'Brien