Auto Expo 2018: In conversation with Pratap Bose
As told to Sirish Chandran
Sirish Chandran: What is the whole design philosophy? Is it continuing? Are you making any change? The SUV has got similar design cues as the Hexa.
Pratap Bose: I had said this couple of years ago also, design is a philosophy, it is a language. The language can change a little, but the philosophy does not change. Philosophy is still to make striking, sexy, phenomenal and attractive cars and with this we have just reinforced that. The difference is of course that with the two new global architectures, we got a chance to redefine where everything goes. For example, the wheel sizes you can put on a platform, there are always some constraints that you work on, like height, proportion which therefore drives the design. In this case, we were starting from a fresh sheet of paper on the ‘Alpha art’ platform as we call it. It gave us a chance to redefine where everything goes. The other one I don’t need to speak because Jerry and his team have done a brilliant job to define the architecture because architecture is always the bone, the skeleton, the style is like a jacket or a suit you put on it.
SC : Is the architecture four-wheel drive ready?
PB: Yes. It has got a transverse engine placement.
SC: What have you done to this SUV to define Impact 2.0?
PB: In terms of design language everything is little sharper. Both the cars are sharper, stronger but not aggressive. It’s very easy to get into an area where you start going into aggression and I think that place is taken by others in India and rest of the world. I don’t want to do that ever. Strength is what we focus on, this architecture has given us that and it’s just a great place to be as a designer.
SC : How much freedom do you have in terms of the styling?
PB: A lot. The design is recognised as a very important function in the company today and the design team has a significant say in what goes in and what comes out of the car. No company in the world can afford to ignore everything else, we have market reality, we have a price position and everything else which we work with and that’s what makes the project interesting.
SC: The 45X marks a very significant departure from all the Tata cars. What was the whole idea behind it?
PB: This architecture or platform gives us 3.8m to 4.3m length and quite a few silhouettes. What we have shown is a 4.25m car, of course our hatchback won’t be that size, it’s not a size that you sell hatchbacks in India, why I showed you the size is to give you the extent to what the length, width and height of the platform can be.
SC : How far away from production reality is this?
PB: All the elements of Impact 2.0 are on this car. There are some things that we pushed a little further, for concept cars we make it little lower, little wider but every design element you see here will make it to the production car. There is almost nothing in this car that you won’t be able to put into production. We have taken some liberty on the way the screen integrates into the hood because this is a concept car. We are not too far from bringing this into reality and putting into production. The SUV will arrive first though.