• Mar 2nd 2011 at 3:39PM
  • 18
Tata Pixel Concept - Click above for high-res image gallery

Tata has revealed its Euro city car concept in Geneva today and it's a trick little piece. First off, Tata says it is the most efficiently-packaged four-seater in the world, comfortably seating four regulation-size adults in a car just 10 feet long.

Even more trick is the car's zero turning radius system, which, in simple terms, rotates the rear wheels in separate directions to make parking as easy as possible in tight spaces. According to Tata, the system works with the help of something called a "Zero Turn turoidal traction-drive Infinitely Variable Transmission. Right. The effect is that the outside rear wheel spins forward while the inside wheels spins backward, creating a pivot point.

In keeping with the modern microcar trend, Tata claims that the Pixel will return more than 60 mpg and only releases 89 grams of C02 per kilometer. The efficiency comes by way of a 1.2-liter three-cylinder turbodiesel, which, though it isn't a full hybrid, employs stop-start technology and regenerative battery charging.

Could we be looking at a blueprint for a future Nano? Perhaps more in form factor than in specific technologies, but either way, this is a nifty looking little space egg.

Photos copyright ©2011 Drew Phillips / AOL
[Source: Tata]
Show full PR text
The Tata Pixel, a new city car concept for Europe

Most package efficient four-seater in the world 'Zero turn' drive maximizes manoeuvrability when parking Innovative 'scissor' door system allows entry and exit in the tightest of spaces CO2 emissions of just 89 gm/km and combined cycle fuel economy of 3.4 litres/100km
The Tata Pixel, with 'Zero Turn' drive and an innovative diamond-shaped door system, is a new city car concept for Europe from Tata Motors. Based on the Tata Nano, the Pixel – at just over three metres in length – is the most package efficient four-seater in the world, comfortably accommodating four adults, unlike a typical city car which is either a two-seater or can accommodate two adults and two children only.

The Tata Pixel's ability to manoeuvre and park in the tightest of spaces is made possible by its Zero Turn toroidal traction-drive Infinitely Variable Transmission (IVT). This highly efficient, cost-effective system assists rotation of the outer rear wheel forwards and the inner rear wheel backwards during low-speed manoeuvres, while the front wheels turn at acute angles. The result is a turning circle radius of just 2.6 metres. The glass area on the scissor doors provides excellent visibility even in the most extreme turning manoeuvre.

The 'scissor' doors rotate upwards from the front to allow all four passengers to effortlessly enter or exit the Tata Pixel, even in the tightest of spaces, while the doors' large glass area provides excellent visibility.

A forward sweeping roofline, with minimal front and rear overhangs, accentuates the youthful styling, while the window graphic features an interchangeable island that can be used to change the exterior appearance whenever desired.

The Tata Pixel also introduces "My Tata Connect" -- the first integrated human-machine interface (HMI) concept from Tata Motors for its new generation programmes. "My Tata Connect" enables seamless integration of the user's smartphone or tablet with the vehicle's infotainment system and also allows controlling key functions of the car. This provides a customised, user friendly, all-in-one touch screen display, while also allowing the driver to remain seamlessly connected to the external world in much the same way as they would be when at home or in the office,istening to favourite songs, internet news and sport or stock updates. In addition to serving as the infotainment display when docked in the instrument panel, the tablet also allows temperature, ventilation and air-conditioning settings to be adjusted through its touch screen, as well as displaying information on the vehicle's performance.

A 1.2 litre three-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine, positioned at the rear of the Tata Pixel, gives lively performance. The engine is a low-friction design, featuring variable coolant and oil pump and rapid warm-up technologies. With optimised aerodynamic drag, low rolling-resistance tyres, stop-start technology, and intelligent battery charging, the Tata Pixel returns European combined cycle (NEDC) fuel economy of 3.4 l/100km and CO2 emissions of just 89g/km.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      It looks a little derivative, but great nonetheless (especially for a TATA)!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Looks an awful lot like the Pininfarina B0 or BlueCar:

      • 4 Years Ago
      I think they've really done a great job making a very small car look sleek, which is hard to do in those dimensions. The detailing is also unique and clean without resorting to cutesy gimmicks like giant headlamps, or round googley eyes, etc. Tata may be a global force to be reckoned with sooner than many had expected.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sounds like the Delphi 4 wheel steering system that GMC had on their trucks a few years ago.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Only it doesn't steer the rear wheels like GM's system. There are cars currently on the market that also have 4 wheel steering, they work by steering the rear wheels in the opposite direction as the front wheels at low speeds to shrink the turning circle, and in the same direction as the front wheels at high speeds to stabilize maneuvers like lane changes.

        This system doesn't steer the rear wheels at all. Instead it powers them in opposite directions of rotation. Kind of like how a tank can turn on its own axis by powering the treads in opposite directions. However in this case it is only the rear wheels, so the axis is vertical through the center of the rear axle while the front wheels steer at a very acute (sharp) angle. Because the front wheels can't turn completely sideways, and thus, are not concentric with that axis of rotation, I suspect that the car cannot turn in place, but can probably turn very sharp U-turns.

        Interestingly, skid steer loaders (see link below) work in a very similar way, only they completely lack wheels which turn side-to-side. However, when on solid pavement, they tend to wear out their tires very rapidly when turning due to all the sideways friction. I wonder if the Tata Pixel would be faced with similar issues?

      • 4 Years Ago
      Anyone who needs a zero turn radius in a car as big as a soda can needs to go back to driving school. Love the idea, as it would be extremely useful in larger vehicles (trucks, vans) that have to navigate cities.
      • 4 Years Ago
      looks like an imiev, but better, a little more car-like in proportion
        • 4 Years Ago
        This is the first Tata concept that looks competitive. I like it!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I am no fan of small cars, I prefer my camaros and my vipers and well you get the point...

      But this thing, is kinda cool, If priced right, this would make a great commuter car
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wonder if they've got that fire thing worked out.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Quite neat.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Everything that makes it look slick (one-piece windshield from the front bumper to the roof, large glass side windows that don't open) would be eliminated if it's put into production.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Can't believe nobody said this yet...Kia already made the pop concept car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Decent little concept. I love the front clip on this thing. And at least you know there wont be any blind spots while driving it!
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