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Tata Megapixel concept car at 2012 Geneva motor show

Published: 06 March 2012

Remember the Tata Pixel, the posher, glitzier small car from the makers of the Nano breadcase? Now it's back for 2012, with the new Tata Megapixel concept car.

It's an upgraded version of Tata's study into an urban runabout for the future, an electric supermini with a motor in each wheel.

Tata Megapixel: aren't other people up to 14MP now?

Yes, we see what you've done there. Tata has revamped the Pixel with a new name, but it remains a bijou supermini, at 3504mm long, 1673mm wide and 1405mm tall.

Cleverly, it also sticks with the clever wheel articulation which allows a ludicrously tight turning circle of just 2.8 metres. That'll make a London cabby go green with envy. Those twin sliding doors should help with tight urban spaces, too.

Those four electric motors are driven by a lithium ion phosphate battery, itself recharged by a tiny onboard power unit. It's a 325cc single-cylinder petrol engine, saving weight.

Tata claims 369lb ft of torque combined from all four of those motors, so performance is adequately brisk for such a town-focused car with a top speed quoted of around 70mph. Yet CO2 emissions stand at a paltry 22g/km thanks to that modest petrol engine.

What's the purpose of the Tata Megapixel? Is it the new Nano?

Nope. The Nano is a specific tool aimed at emerging markets, whereas the Megapixel is exploring the type of vehicles which may come to Europe.

As CAR reported recently, Tata is being cautious about launching in Europe, preferring instead to build up its premium brands.

Sources at Tata tell CAR that the current thinking is to launch over here only when modern, competitive product is ready. Chairman Ratan Tata has spoken of his desire to launch with a different product, not a 'me-too' vehicle.

Sounds to us like the Tata Megapixel could give a very good look at what could be coming in future...

The Tata verdict

Prakash Telang, MD of Tata Motors in India, 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 in 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.'

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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