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Tata plugs into Europe

Wired: The Tata Indica Vista is a collaboration between India and Norway.

Indian car-maker reveals the Tata Indica Vista Electric Vehicle and new Euro plans

10 Mar 2009

INDIAN car-maker Tata has revealed a new electric car with a range of up to 200km that is destined to go on sale throughout Europe in 2010.

The Indica Vista EV is based on a regular hatchback released in India last year and was revealed at the Geneva motor show last week by Tata group chairman Ratan Tata.

It is being developed and built in Norway by Miljo Grenland/Innovasjon, which is 70 per cent owned by England-based Tata Motors European Technical Centre, and is reported to be going on sale initially in Norway from September.

The Indica Vista EV is a true four-seater, uses super polymer lithium ion batteries that are claimed to have superior energy density to conventional batteries and is undergoing extensive tests in Europe before production commences.

Announcing a concerted push into Europe starting next year, Mr Tata also took the covers off the long-awaited Euro-market Nano – a car that created world headlines last year when it was announced it would sell in India for around $3000 – and a new mid-size sedan called Prima that was styled by famed Italian design house Pininfarina.

“India hasn’t traditionally given the world an acceptable automobile,” Mr Tata said in Geneva, adding that his company hoped to reverse this tradition with the Prima.

“We hope this car will be an indication of what Italy and India can do together.”

47 center image Left: Tata Indica Vista EV,and below Nano Europa.

Prima sits on a 2700mm wheelbase and will be built in India, but will not be launched in Europe until 2011-2012.

Also present at the launch was Pininfarina CEO Paolo Pininfarina, who said that the project would be dedicated to his late brother and former company CEO Andrea Pininfarina, who died in a motor scooter accident last August.

The diminutive Nano – just 3290mm long and 1580mm wide – goes on sale in April in India.

When it goes on sale in Europe from 2010, though, the Nano will get a slightly longer wheelbase (2280mm), standard ABS and stability control, airbags, electric power steering, a five-speed automatic transmission and upgraded interior.

The Nano Europa will be powered by a three-cylinder all-aluminium MPFI engine, which Mr Tata said would produce CO2 emissions of less than 100g/km and correct the impression that Tata is not environmentally conscious.

Details of Tata’s European launch plans appear to rule out rumours that the Indian car-maker would use the Rover name, which it acquired through its purchase of Jaguar and Land-Rover from Ford.

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