Geneva Motor Show: Tata Megapixel

Despite sounding like a crap Taiwanese camera and coming from the maker of the world's cheapest car, the Tata Megapixel is a very clever little thing indeed.

Its doors slide out electrically from the middle and it has no B-pillars, like the new Ford B-Max, so there's a gaping side opening for its four occupants to get inside through.
As the name alludes, the Megapixel is an electric car, which uses a range extender setup (like the Vauxhall Ampera) that drives the wheels using an electric motor, with the battery backed up by a petrol engine.

In this case, the petrol generator is a tiny 325cc single cylinder engine, so it doesn't bog down the car too much with extra weight. An electric motor sits in each wheel, and the car's range is 560 miles on a full tank - just 54 of those coming before the generator kicks in.

It can charge wirelessly when parked on an induction pad (should you happen to have one) although a normal socket will do.

The turning circle of the Megapixel is pixel-small, because when the front wheels turn one way, the rears turn the other. The result is an extremely city-friendly little car.

And before you think this is just another motor show flight of folly, Tata is an absolutely enormous conglomerate and has the financial clout to make this car happen.

The company is worth tens of billions, with a huge presence in its (also huge) domestic Indian market, including truck- and bus-making interests. There's also the little matter of owning Jaguar Land Rover.

Click here for more on the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.
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