TAMO, a performance oriented sub-brand of Tata Motors, has unveiled the C-Cube Concept, a three-door hatchback which features Microsoft’s connected vehicle technology. Although details of the concept are scarce, but initial images reveal that the concept has a touchscreen infotainment system but not the Microsoft connected driving experience one and that would be revealed at the 87th Geneva International Auto Show. If not the complete Microsoft connected vehicle package, some features would surely make it to future hatchbacks from Tata.
Watch: Tata Motors & Microsoft bring you the Connected Car Experience
Unlike most premium hatchbacks sold in the country which have dual headlamp setup, the C-Cube Concept has a single headlamp unit. However, these are projector beams and in addition, the concept also gets integrated DRLs or Daytime Running Lamps within the headlamp assembly. The concept showcased at the 2017 Future Decoded Show, an event hosted by Microsoft to showcase various digital technologies in Mumbai, sits on OZ alloy wheels. The rear-set air vents on the rear lower portion of the car hint that this may be a rear-engined vehicle like the Nano, however, details on the same are not confirmed. It may be that this feature is for aesthetic value and the production-spec version may not get it. Like the Futuro, the first sports car from Tata Motors, the production model is expected to be powered by the 1.2 litre Revotron petrol engine and may be the Revotorq diesel unit as well.
How would it benefit potential Tata car buyers?
While another example of the Microsoft connected car technology would be the Futuro, the company has to plan their move quickly and effectively for the mass-market segment. Packaging the entire feature list which is predictive maintenance, advanced navigation, remote vehicle monitoring and over-the-air updates into a mass-market vehicle which justifies its price may be a challenge. However, speculations around a scaled-down version of the complete connected driving technology hint at the possibility of connected driving in a mass-market car with limited features like navigation, voice recognition and text message readouts.
Since a major chunk of buyers in the passenger vehicle segment are a younger audience, Tata’s connected car could be an instant hit. How Tata puts all the features and if it keeps an aggressive price tag is a wait-and-watch game as the first production-spec connected car is expected to roll out as early as 2018.
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