Transmission technology company Torotrak plc has supplied a prototype transmission to its key customer and licensee, Tata Motors Ltd, for use in the Tata Pixel concept car revealed at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. The four-seat urban vehicle uses a new Torotrak infinitely variable transmission (IVT) to provide responsive performance, excellent fuel economy and outstanding manoeuvrability. Rob Oliver, Torotrak's director of product development, said: "Torotrak is delighted to have been asked by Tata Motors to provide the transmission for the Tata Pixel concept car, and is proud to be associated with their vision for future mobility. The Tata Pixel is an example of the growing relevance of IVT technology in addressing the needs of small and city-cars. Efficiency, responsiveness and additional features such as the IVT's zero-turn capability, provide tremendous opportunity to deliver new technology solutions for the world's growing population of urban drivers."
The transmission in the rear-engined Tata Pixel uses Torotrak's low-cost traction-drive and epicyclic technology to create an innovative, integrated IVT. During normal driving the transmission provides seamless change of ratio to deliver high levels of refinement, performance and fuel economy. When parking and during tight manoeuvring the transmission's ability to control each rear wheel independently is used to enable rotation of these wheels in opposing directions. By linking the vehicle's steering system with the control mechanism for the IVT the car is able to pivot around its rear axle, greatly boosting manoeuvrability and enabling parking in the tightest of spaces. "Tata Motor's selection of our new IVT concept for the Tata Pixel is evidence of both the commercial attractiveness and scalability of Torotrak's transmission technology, and of its direct relevance to small and city-cars of the future" added Oliver.