I Made This: Tata Curvv

The Future of Indian Mobility

Shaping the future of Tata is not an easy task but the Head of Design, Martin Uhlarik, at Tata Motors proves that he’s more than up to the job.

Even before you go looking for an engine under the hood, EVs give away their clean credentials from their helmet-esque face. For automobile designers, it unlocks a whole new design language. “Actually quite a lot! I don’t like the idea of design having superficial elements so we only put the cooling that’s required on the car. EVs also have a lot more surface area available in the front of the car, that’s why we came up with face that you see on the Curvv.”

But the Tata Curvv is fresh off the boat and as such, designed to be an EV first but eventually will also be available in traditional ICE-powered variants. “They will have a different front end with a unique face that will be optimized for their own architecture.”

What about the existing Tata design language, we ask... “We’ve had a very unique design language for several years now and we don’t intend to throw that recipe out. The Curvv will be an evolution of those concepts so you’ll see this design not just on future Tata EV cars, but also ICE cars and the entire portfolio. The tri-arrow motif has been subtly integrated into the DRL signature of the Curvv and going into the production version, we will also offer a selection of trim levels and personas and you will see that motif appear in other areas.”

Though there seems to be emphasis on being on-point with what 2024 demands. “Less lines means better quality and alignment on doors, body and so forth. So on the Curvv, we have deleted a number of lines compared to our previous models and less is more anyway is the trend. It’s also more timeless.”

It may be easier to convince a petrol head to become a tree hugger, but it’s almost impossible to forget the inimitable sound of petrol- powered engines. “Of course it is! I got into this industry because I like the sound of an exhaust! It is an interesting transition..how do you maintain that emotional connection? We are always debating over driver engagement and pedestrian safety point of view. We have a team that studies the audio interface of EVs, especially how high-performance brands are translating that emotion into engagement.”

An all-new concept and category-redefining car also needs an all-new control system, right? “We want the customer to get the best experience possible, regardless of which OEM brand we partner with for audio, display or graphics. We’ve tried to simplify the interface by deleting buttons and hard keys and moving a lot of primary controls to the steering wheel itself. We have tried several HVAC control interfaces and the capacitive system really works.”

Like everything else in your home (by 2024 anyway), even your Tata Curvv will listen to you. “We are still in the process of assessing the benefits of using a voice-only interface functionality and once we take a call on that, we will freeze upon the decision whether to do it in-house or get into a strategic partnership with a tech company for that.”

Yes, it’s racy and stunning, but it is also ‘just’ a concept car. But your fears are unfounded by Martin. “The Curvv that you see now is essentially the production-version with just a few minor differences. The mirrors will be conventional instead of the camera-based system we have showcased and of course the wheels will be just a little bit smaller (but still huge), but other than that..most of the car’s design is the final version!”