The engine, which is at the heart of the car, had to provide excellent performance and mileage. Here, the Tata Motors team worked with Le Moteur Moderne (LMM), France, for engine testing and evaluation.
The transmission system was designed entirely in-house, adding new capabilities to a company that had no background in cars. Accelerated learning became the mantra of the hour in all areas, simply because there was no in-house expertise of manufacturing cars to fall back on.
When the first prototype of the Indica was unveiled several months later, in some secrecy within Tata Motors, it was clear that this design effort had succeeded brilliantly.
Everyone agreed that here was a car clearly ahead of its time; it looked very distinctive compared to other Indian cars of that period, and had an unmistakable international appeal.
Everyone agreed that the car offered incredible space when compared to any vehicle of similar class.
And the Indica met global crash test standards with ease.
But at its heart it was an Indian car.
Image: Indian Formula One driver Narain Karthikeyan poses with the newly unveiled Tata Indica Formula Concept car during the " Auto-Expo 2006" in New Delhi on January 13, 2006.
Excerpted with permissions from Penguin Books India from the book TATA log - Eight Modern Stories from a Timeless Institution by Harish Bhat Penguin Portfolio/ Rs 599