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EVs Need A New Identity But Not With Fake Grills: Martin Uhlarik, Global Design Head, Tata Motors

Tata Motors recently unveiled the EV concept Curvv with a second-generation design. It showcases the digital design language that will eventually be followed by other Tata SUVs in the future. The coupe-styled mid-size SUV which will rival Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos will be launched in the next two years. Martin Uhlarik, Global Design Head, Tata Motors in an exclusive interview with Express Mobility shared that more and more concepts like Curvv will make their way in the auto industry. He also touched upon creating a balanced design for electric vehicles.

With EVs first strategy, What does the future design of Tata Motors cars look like?

We thought Cruvv is the right product to do EV first because it is a new type of SUV Coupe, in the Indian market. There is a wide space available so it was an obvious decision to enter this segment. 

Read More:-Tata Motors to ramp-up electric vehicle production to cater growing EV demand

As we have a strong SUV portfolio and at the same time we are the leader in electrification in the Indian market. Putting it together with the coupe silhouette makes sense, making an EV that is very dynamic, and extremely exciting. We felt that it is an incredibly good cocktail, and we are confident based on the reaction that we have got in the last 3-8 days that the market is just ready for this.

In terms of the future face of the cars, I do not want to have fake grills something superficial but you have to come up with a new identity for EV vehicles at the same time it is a balancing act because ultimately the front of the car is facing, you have the eyes, expressions everything it communicates like character. If something is missing that people are used to and maybe something looks wrong.

It is a matter of finding the right design, there is nothing unnecessary but at the same time, it does not look weird or strange, something that people are not used to.

How do you see the interiors of the car evolving with respect to EVs?

The Interior will become just as important as the exterior as we move forward. The interior is the space where you spend most of your time and with regards to screens, it will be interesting to watch out for. Never-ending larger screens, we already have enough screen time and from a safety point of view, you must make sure that you are not getting distracted, especially when you are the driver for the other passengers it’s more infotainment.

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We are looking at a lot of different technologies, make it interesting compelling, you get the information that you need at the same time without getting distracted.

It is said that body weight has a lot to do with the range of electric vehicles. What are you doing to reduce your body weight and what kind of material are you exploring?

Design and engineering are constantly investigating all sorts of materials whether it’s the construction of the platform or whether using metals or plastic or polymers. At the same time keeping sustainability in mind as we look at after five-seven-ten year vision of the ecological footprint, the manufacturing processes are just as important as the actual performance of the vehicle so those materials are the huge discussion that’s happening in the company now from both angles, the performance of the vehicle and also the accountability of the manufacturing process. It is quite fascinating and challenging in the next decade, it will be a revolutionary decade in the industry.

How do you see the future form of mobility evolving from the design point of view?

A couple of years ago, we would never have been talking about SUV coupe just like we are talking about now, SUV becoming more mainstream at the same time the other typologies are going to become more mainstream. Before it was a hatchback, a sedan then you have the introduction of SUVs, even other niches coming to the market and it goes beyond the traditional car.

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It is just a matter of finding the right one at the right time but you will definitely see more and more unique products coming onto the market.

In the Curvv concept one of the things that you see is the product looks more futuristic cleaner and more technical-looking, there are fewer lines the surfacing is very clean and simple but at the same time we want to make it look more expressive, we do not want to make it look boring it has to communicate the power train and the interface it is just like electronic items. 

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