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by Tim Beissmann

The Tata Megapixel concept has given us an unlikely glimpse into the future of personal transportation at the Geneva motor show.

The four-seat Megapixel is smaller than a Fiat 500 but has a driving range as high as most family cars.

The range-extended electric vehicle combines a lithium-ion phosphate battery, a petrol engine generator and an electric motor inside each wheel for a total range of 900km. The Megapixel averages 1.0 litre of fuel per 100km in range-extender mode and emissions of just 22g/km CO2.

By comparison, the range-extended Holden Volt will have a total driving range of a little over 500km when it goes on sale in Australia later this year.

Rather than plugging in to a socket to recharge, the Megapixel uses induction charging, meaning it simply needs to be parked over a special induction pad to top up the battery.

The independent electric motors facilitate Tata’s ‘zero turn’ drive system. When parking and performing low-speed manoeuvres, the wheels can be driven in opposite directions and pointed at acute angles, enabling a turning circle radius of just 2.8 metres.

The Megapixel features a double-sliding door system, making ingress and egress easy in tight spaces and enhancing visibility thanks to its non-existent B-pillar.

Four occupants can ride in comfort, and the rear seats ‘float’, creating more storage space underneath.

The cabin also features a sophisticated Human Machine Interface. A docking point allows drivers to connect their smartphone, which integrates with the large colour touchscreen. Driving modes, climate control and vehicle information data can also be accessed via the dash-mounted screen.

There’s no word yet on a production car based on the Megapixel, but with Tata’s technology advancing at a rapid rate, expect elements of the concept to appear in showrooms in the not too distant future.




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