When an exclusive new two-seat sports car is built entirely for driving pleasure, with radical styling, butterfly doors, a carbonfibre backbone chassis, race-bred doublewishbone suspension and a highly tuned, mid-mounted engine, you can bet your mortgage it will turn out to be very large and very expensive.
This is the immutable law of the supercar, established over decades, and you’ll search in vain for anything European that breaks it. However, a brand-new midengined sports car from India’s biggest car maker, Tata Motors, kicks the established rules into touch. It is cheap to buy but exclusive. It is cheap to build but sophisticated. It is imposing and spacious inside but shorter than a Mini. Called the Tamo Racemo, it was revealed to great acclaim at the Geneva motor show in March.
But as Tata officials have made clear from the outset, there is much more to the Racemo’s appearance than the mere debut of an appealing driver’s car. The Racemo is the first product of an all-new Tata sub-brand called Tamo (the short form of ‘Tata Motors’ in Indian stock exchanges), which has been established by Tata as an ambitious new channel for investigating the latest automotive inventions and processes. It will also be used to form relationships with the leading disrupters of the car world – some of them truly tiny concerns – without disturbing Tata’s core business of making cars in large numbers for its Indian customers.