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Tata Motors -- Indian parent company of Jaguar/Land Rover and builder of the world’s cheapest car, the sub-$3,000 Nano -- has unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show a range-extended electric vehicle that’s similar in concept to the American compact, but on a much smaller scale.
The Megapixel is an 11.5-foot long microcar powered by four electric motors, one in each wheel. They primarily draw their power from a 13 KwH battery pack, which offers a range of 54 miles per charge. Combined the motors provide a muscle car-like 369 lb-ft of torque, but the car’s top speed is just 68 mph.
For longer trips, it also has a small, 325cc single-cylinder engine that works like a generator when the battery runs out of useable charge. According to Tata, it provides over 500 miles of added range between plug-ins.
Well, not exactly plug-ins. The Megapixel does the Volt one better by incorporating a wireless induction charging system, like those used for cell phones and mobile electronic devices. Just park it on top of a special mat in your garage and it recharges automatically.
Even if that garage happens to be as small as the car, don’t worry about having to back out. The Megapixel has four-wheel steering, allowing it to spin on its axis and make what Tata calls a zero-turn.
Getting in shouldn’t be a problem, either. The four-seater has four sliding doors and no roof pillars in-between them, creating large openings on both sides for easy access.
That is, of course, if Tata ever makes it. For now the Megapixel is just a concept.