• Jan 6, 2010
Tata Magic Iris – Click above for high-res image gallery

Visit New Delhi and you'll be overwhelmed by the number of motorized trikes hustling and bustling through the city proper. They're practically the official vehicle of India because of their low cost, ease of maintenance and small size. But just as Tata is trying to revolutionize the world of budget motoring with the Nano, the Indian automaker wants to offer another form of urban transport to replace the much-loved trike. The Tata Magic Iris is it.

We don't have exact dimensions, but as you can see in the pics, it's small – the wheelbase isn't much longer than a baseball bat and the wheels max out at 12 inches (10-inch hoops are standard). Nestled within the steel five-seater (two in front and three out back) is a 611cc, water-cooled diesel churning out a 11 horsepower, allowing the diminutive box to hit a maximum speed of 34 mph. While its specs aren't about to set the world on fire, it's considerably more versatile than the trike it aims to replace. Tata hasn't announced pricing yet, but expect the Magic Iris to come in well below $2,000 when it hits Indian roads later this year.



[Source: IndianAutosBlog | Live Images: Shrawan Raja]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 54 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      10$ says I can push it over.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If our Government keeps wasting our money the way they are doing ....THAT'S the car we will be driving a decade from now
      • 5 Years Ago
      From the blurb: "While it's specs aren't about to set the world on fire, it's considerably more versatile than the trike it aims to replace."

      it's = it is

      its = possessive form of it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Are there really people who look at this and say "man, that's a nice looking vehicle! I gotta get me one."?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes. They are people who have a lot less and see this as a step up from what they already have. If you're not one of them, count your blessings.
        invisiblepigeon3
        • 5 Years Ago
        Seriously Richard?

        The element isn't form-follows-function. The Element is a stupid box that weighs way too much for it's size/bhp, and was designed to appeal to people who want funky styling. It's got no better practicality than a station wagon or small SUV, but people buy it for the stupid doors. Also, couldn't they afford to paint half of the Element instead of cladding it in black plastic?

        It's not form following function to make cars that are purposely not aerodynamic or top heavy. It's catering to people who buy cars for their looks and for pointless "features" like suicide doors on a small SUV.
        • 5 Years Ago
        it probably qualifies for some racing class somewhere....
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually it looks pretty good to me. Cheap, functional, practical. If I was toting gear around within a few miles all the time, it would probably do the trick. It shares a lot in common with the original VW bus, actually, including having its detractors, and fits pretty much the same niche. Those buses are very collectible these days.

        Then again, I drive (and enjoy) an Element, so many people who don't go with "form follows function" so much will disagree with me :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        Somehow I expect that isn't the point. Instead, the idea is small shop owners to say "I need a small, inexpensive delivery vehicle like this for my business! I gotta get me one."

        Anyway, somehow, I look at this thing and think it would be cool to put it on a pair Samuri axles with a 4x4 conversion and use it as an off-road toy. I don't know why though...
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think the design looks really cool - I would get one if I had a need
        • 5 Years Ago
        No. Just like how no one picks out a Fit or Aveo for its 'styling.' As you probably didn't read the actual article, it sells for about $2000. Who buys a $2000 car for its looks? Its either this or a rotting auto or car in the used market. Need to say, India has a near non-existant used car market. Technically it may be four wheels but its hardly a 'car' its mostly to replace auto-rickshaws. Get your American-bias out of here, that's why they are not even selling it here in the first place. READ its for India, not America, two very distinct markets.

        Want a car for its looks? Tata offers Jaguar.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Something about this reminds me of an evolutionary version of a Volkswagen bus, the one with a 1131 cc engine and 25 hp. To my eye the 10 or 12" wheels make the Nano appear ungainly especially with 5 people aboard at 34 mph.
        • 5 Years Ago
        second that - and it will chop your legs off in a front end impact just the same - but I love it anyway
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wish there were some more pics of the utility of this thing - love the soft windows, and the single side door (would be better as a slider though.
      Looks like a tailgate in the back?
        • 5 Years Ago
        We are in agreement on nearly every thing about these cars and the market for them. I'd like to see some pictures of the interior, I mentioned the VW bus earlier, but this might be closer in concept to the Citroen 2CV. I do hope all these Tata vehicles have good modern emission controls.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @My_SS_RX8
        sadly, I doubt the emission controls are probably not up to full modern standards.
        It would make them too expensive and also harder to work on.
        I bet half of these things when in the field they remove the side door completely - super cool!
        invisiblepigeon3
        • 5 Years Ago
        LOL didn't all automakers stop including those stupid vinyl windows on convertibles, and replace them with real tempered glass ones 20 years ago? You love the most awful feature of the car other than its 10 inch wheels.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @invisiblepigeon3
        I dont think you get the target market for this car.
        Have you ever been to any decent sized city in India or S America?
        Glass would just get in the way -
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't understand how a 50cc scooter is legal in the US but this is not. Give vehicles like this a special registration that keeps them off roads with speed limits above 40mph.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Having seen how much 'stuff' most ingenious people on the Asian continent can fit on to both two wheels and three, I look forward to seeing this pictured soon carrying a bare minimum of 19 adults, 7 sheep and enough building material for a dam :)
      invisiblepigeon3
      • 5 Years Ago
      There's a primal urge in me to destroy hideous, pointless cars. I want to watch every Smart car get crushed in a printing press. I want to watch Pontiac Aztek's explode as they roll off a cliff. I want to smash this stupid little car's face with a sledge hammer... I hate cars that try to make up for the fact that they're mechanically **** by having sad puppy dog eyes.
        invisiblepigeon3
        • 5 Years Ago
        @invisiblepigeon3
        Are you implying that self-hatred is a good thing with your sarcastic remark? Advocating the self-loathing approach to acheiving "happiness"? Now who needs to see a shrink LOL
        invisiblepigeon3
        • 5 Years Ago
        @invisiblepigeon3
        "Thanks for clearing that up - I guess that says it all: Red Lexus
        I am happy for you that you love yourself so much!"

        What are you implying with that then?
        invisiblepigeon3
        • 5 Years Ago
        @invisiblepigeon3
        I'm pretty sure that it's my inner child who loves my red Lexus IS300 Sportcross and my black Lexus IS250, and hates cars like this.

        If I became a zombie adult who thought of how many manilla envelopes I could fit in the back of my car, then I'd go see a psychiatrist. So bite me; there's your anger.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @invisiblepigeon3
        Thanks for clearing that up - I guess that says it all: Red Lexus
        I am happy for you that you love yourself so much!
        • 5 Years Ago
        @invisiblepigeon3
        I sense allot of anger.........maybe you should visit a shrink and get back in touch with your inner child and do some healing
        • 5 Years Ago
        @invisiblepigeon3
        @invisiblepigeon3
        narcissist
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is great! Don't know what exactly a "magic iris" is, or its significance but this thing is very well designed for its market.

      I understand why most people here won't get it though. If you haven't been to a developing nation (or if you have, left the resort and tried to navigate a city) its hard to understand the utility of this funky little thing.
        invisiblepigeon3
        • 5 Years Ago
        Really Lorenzo? I lived in the CBD of Wellington NZ for a year and didn't have problems WALKING anywhere I needed to go. I'd rather walk than drive a caricature of a car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I love basmati rice - 400lbs would be a lot of Biryani.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @invisiblepigeon3
        what if you had to carry 10 - 40 pound sacks of rice to various clients, would you walk then?
        invisiblepigeon3
        • 5 Years Ago
        You think you can put 400lbs of rice in this thing? LOL
        • 5 Years Ago
        @invisiblepigeon3
        at LEAST 400 pounds - maybe more
        the thing has 4 seats, and at 100 pounds per person , that is 400 right there........
      • 5 Years Ago
      Very usefull if playing 18 in a cold rain.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Take me to your leader"...
      • 5 Years Ago
      When I see a spangly new F-150, this is what I see. Only with a proportionately smaller person inside.
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