Q&A with Pratap Bose – Bringing Style Back
Tata Motors has been a trendsetter in the passenger car segment in India, giving India its first ever compact sedan- the Indigo CS- back in 2008. And now comes another first, the most stylish compact sedan yet- the Tigor Styleback.
The Tigor has been a game changer because of the way it has packaged best-in-class features with a premium look and style, at an unbelievable price point. How was this accomplished? Here’s a Q&A with Pratap Bose, Head of Design at Tata Motors.
How important is the Tigor as a milestone in Tata Motors’ design journey?
The Tigor is a very important milestone in the journey of Tata Motors Design. A clean sheet of paper gave us the freedom and opportunity to create a new body style – the Styleback. For a segment that is peppered with drab and boring looking hatch-derived compact sedans and large hatches, it was important to make a dramatic change; one that would capture the attention of the media and people alike. The initial response to the Tigor has been fantastic; people are raving about the design and execution of the car.
What is ‘Styleback’ all about?
The compact sedan category, i.e. less than 4m long, was one that was definitely low on the overall Style Quotient. Styleback is the amalgamation of cutting edge design with modern technology and engineering, to create a car that is not just good looking, but also the most practical vehicle around!
What was the design brief for the Tigor? What user experience did the team have in mind?
The design brief for the Tigor was simple, and at the same time, difficult to execute. We wanted to redefine what was possible in the sub 4m segment, with a new body style that would WOW our existing customers, and also draw in new customers.
One of the biggest negatives of this segment was that people found the existing offerings to be a compromise. If someone chose a compact sedan for its practicality, the awkward proportions and design would score negatively. The challenge was to create a product that gave the premiumness of a sedan and the utility space of a large hatch. We also wanted it to really stand out in a crowd.
What was the most unconventional thing you did for the Tigor?
No vehicle in this category has ever had a 4-bar hinge mechanism for the deck lid. This allows a lot more usable luggage space, which is why the Tigor has the largest boot in the segment.
The sporty silhouette of the car, along with its various design elements – first-in-class LED split tail lamps and the roof mounted HMSL spoiler – have received rave reviews.
What makes the car comfortable and stylish at the same time?
When a team is given the freedom to define the proportions of the car on a new platform, the ability to create space, comfort and style at the same time tends to be the kind of challenge that is good to have.
Of course, the focus on having a stylish design can in no way be at the expense of the customer. The sporty silhouette of the Tigor also takes in the comfort/space parameters of our customers to ensure they’re getting the best experience possible.
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