When a car company builds a vehicle, it usually banks on demand, emotion,and newness. Many-a-time, carving niches is what designers or production managers think of. Projects are given the green light just on the basis of the emotional attachment associated with it. Case in point is that of Ratan Tata spearheading the Tata Nano project. A basic car in Rs 1 lakh was the dream behind the idea. However, as things stand now, the project didn’t meet with the kinds of response the company expected. The fire-catching incidents further…err fuelled the fire. It could just be a case of wrong timing. While the Tata Nano is a recent one, here is a list of cars that failed to leave a lasting mark on the Indian four-wheeler buyer’s mind. They could perhaps be way ahead of times and if one were to launch them today, with the same nameplate, who knows they could top the sales chart. As a bonus, we have added a few Tata concept cars which never made it to production but are an alluring prospect nonetheless.
The Tata Pixel concept debuted in Geneva in 2011. The Tata Pixel concept was built on the Nano platform and was aimed for the European market. This car not only boasted a bigger wheelbase than the Nano but also had a power steering. There was also ABS on offer. Tata Motors had made it compliant with the crash test procedures that Europe’s stringent laws demanded. A new 3-cylinder diesel engine was on offer and this one had a hybrid powertrain as well. There was start-stop system on offer and regenerative braking too. An electric Nano too was on the plans but it seems that it might not see the light of the day given the recent partnership culmination between Tata Motors and Jayem Auto. It could have been a great car in today’s age given that there is a demand for small vehicles and especially electric ones.
Estate cars weren’t a hot property some time ago but given their practical approach, it makes sense. Now that MPVs (Ertiga, Triber) are slowly growing on a buyer’s list and the pro-Tata sentiment that has been around for some time, the Indigo Marina will be a perfect car for the thinking man. It had a huge boot space, capacious interior and a decent set of powertrains. Imagine the Tata Indigo Marina today with a set of turbocharged petrol and diesel options. Add to that an automatic transmission and it could have done wonders. A sub-Rs 10 lakh pricing will be the icing on the cake.
When manufacturers were running after sub-4m dimensions and how to best design these cars, Tata Motors went ahead and built a limo under Rs 10 lakh. Yes, the Tata Indigo XL had a long wheelbase and even had rear AC vents. We aren’t talking about 2019 but a good 12 years ago. There was also leather upholstery on offer. The car had a similar space to what Maruti Suzuki Ciaz will offer today. Imagine the same car today with modern Pratap Bose styling written all over it. It will be a smash hit.
Something that looks like a big MPV but with a pick-up truck-like open dimensions at the rear. Wow! The Tata Cliffrider concept borrowed heavily from the Xover concept but was shown way ahead of its times. It had all the luxury trappings one will ever want and then some more. The load bay was covered with a cover that was sliding in nature. The infotainment boasted navigation as well. There was also ABS as well as airbags on offer. Well, we are talking of 2006. The rear sliding doors were more like the ones on the Kia Carnival. Ahead of its times. Tata can perhaps take a cue and launch it now instead of the Hexa BS6 or perhaps slightly above it. Will do wonders for the brand.
Tata Motors spun off a new division in 2017 that was to help it develop sporty vehicles. The division was called TaMo and the first sportscar that it made was the RaceMo. There was also a RaceMo+ that was limited for track use. This car used to run on a petrol engine while the “+” variant used an electric powertrain. It was too ambitious a project and Tata Motors had to abandon it due to business viability reasons. If today, the TaMo RaceMo was launched, it could have buyers given the evolved sensibilities of individuals. Also, an electric race car holds more promise as well.
PS: We haven’t mentioned other great Tata cars like the legendary Sumo, Safari, or even the Sierra. As far as we know, more or less the places of these cars have already been taken – either in this story or by others in the pipeline.
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