Tata's First Performance Car Looks A Hell Of A Lot More Fun Than A Nano

Last month we told you about Tamo, the performance-oriented sub-brand of Tata. Since here in America we mostly only know about Tata in the context of the ultra-cheap Nano, I don’t think anyone took Tamo that seriously. Now Tamo has a car to show, called the RACEMO. Yeah, it’s a dumb name, but there’s even worse words involved. Still, I like the car.

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The worse word I’m referring to is “phygital,” which Tata explains in this statement:

“A perfect blend of Italian sensuality and Indian ingenuity, RACEMO is India’s first globally developed ‘phygital’ car, merging the physical and digital worlds.”

I don’t know. Phygital sounds like something a doctor would find growing under the skin in your groin and you’d better get that thing removed before it starts leaking fluid, because, gross.

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Let’s forget about stupid marketing words for a moment and just look at the car. It sort of reminds me of a re-imagined version of the old Smart Roadster, and I think that’s a compliment.

It’s a little two seater with a 1200cc three-cylinder engine mounted in the middle. That little RWD three is putting out 190 horsepower and it looks like it weighs about as much as a deep thought about the aching beauty of a horse.

Styling-wise, it feels a bit like a Lancia Stratos that’s been mated with a high-end gaming PC. It’s got chunky, angular fenders, interesting areas of contrasting color, and a novel rear window made out of a series of perforations.

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It’s purposeful and fun, and the interior design feels like a space where exciting shit goes down. It even has scissor doors, because why the hell not, right?

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The most important thing, though, is that this car looks fun, and it seems like it could get to market retaining that fun and not costing crazy money.

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The small engine and relatively modest output is perfect, and I think marketed right this could be the sort of thing that would compete with Toyota 86s and Miatas and Fiat 124s, and maybe even Porsche Caymans and BMW M2s, for those who value fun over power and status.

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I’m encouraged by what I’m seeing here, and I’ll quietly hope that we see these show up in Jaguar/Land Rover dealers (remember, Tata owns them) here in the U.S.

Of course, if they don’t, you can always fake-drive the car in Forza, where it will become the first Indian-built car ever to grace that series. I can’t believe they never had an Ambassador in there.

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About the author

Jason Torchinsky

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)