Tata Mini CAT Air-powered Car On Sale From Mid-2012

Mike Stevens | Feb 28, 2012

News of Tata's air-powered "Mini CAT" car first surfaced way back in 2008, and even now it remains one of the most contentious articles on the TMR website.

Now, the Indian owner of Jaguar and Land Rover, and producer of one of the world's most affordable cars - the Nano - has confirmed that the Mini CAT will hit showrooms in August.

The Mini CAT is made mostly from fibreglass, with a bonded (glued) tubular chassis rather than welded. And power, of course, is provided entirely by compressed air.

Fuelling the car costs only as much the electricity needed to power the compressor - around $2, Tata says.

After a 'fill', which takes around three to four hours at home or only a few minutes at a suitably equipped service station, the Mini CAT is supposedly good for around 300 kilometres.

Developed jointly with ex-F1 engineer Guy Negre and his outfit Motor Development International, the Mini CAT will be priced from around $8000, or around four times the price of the Nano city car.

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Filed under: Tata, 2012, india, News, air car, minicat, tata minicat, mini cat, tata mini cat, tata air car, tata air

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  • Sharon Hindman says,
    2 years ago
    4 likes
    I want one of these cars, I drive 136 miles a day to work and back, I spend $400 a month on gas; I'd love to be a promoter for your car at a great price.
  • debra says,
    2 years ago
    2 likes
    Is this really possible? that I can get a car that DOESN'T use gas? no more 1.45/litre? when will I see one in Canada? I have huge commute, pay lots in gas and transit services are not an option in rural areas! I would LOVE to test one of these during winter, summer, etc etc.
    Will it be affordable?
  • Big Steve says,
    2 years ago
    2 likes
    I have been watching this little engine since 2006. The French have a good idea in it, and the India was smart to produce the first generation. If it really comes to the U.S. this year, I will be in line to get one.
    My biggest question, what dealership is going to be selling the CAT when it is introduced?
  • Hey Jude says,
    2 years ago
    2 likes
    Okay so the air that comes out is suitable for air conditioning because it is cold but what about heating a car when the outside temperature is -25C like it can be in Canada or the Northern States? I suspect the answer is that you can't heat it. Sounded good but unless that can change the car will do well in Indian but not here.
  • P.S Prakash says,
    2 years ago
    3 likes
    I want to buy TATA's Air Powered Car.

    P.S Prakash
  • sairam says,
    2 years ago
    2 likes
    I want to promote this car by purchasing this car, when booking for this car will begin and how to book please send information. also please send all details specifications.
  • Dennis says,
    2 years ago
    Forget about this car. Only good for retirement communities. Unless you do not mind NO air conditioning (forget any state below the Mason-Dixon line), and NO heating (forget any state above the Mason-Dixon line). Probably ok for some states that have mild weather all the time (there are a few of them I guess). And you will never get gas stations to install the air compressors to 'fuel' them, since there is no demand for it, and very low profit. Good luck.....
    • DkRaven says,
      2 years ago
      7 likes
      I hate to tell ya this, chum, but there was a time when NO cars had AC; and if you think you're gonna suffer, try driving in India May - September.
    • Patrick Hayes says,
      2 years ago
      1 like
      I think there may actually be air-conditioning, because it comes almost for free from the expansion of the compressed air (the air gets cold as it expands). Because they are releasing it in India, it might not need a heater, but I believe that they have a hyrid version of the engine which can also burn a bit of traditional fuel, and that could allow for a heater also.
      • Cris says,
        2 years ago
        biggrin
        The air cannot expand inside of car. If will be used a heat exchander on "exhaust " gas, mean the expanded cold air, this will consume some energy. And compressed air is not an cheap energy, just can be green energy for the city. You transform the chemical energy (or other form) in electric energy, than in mechanical energy and than in compressed air which will be used to obtain again some emchanical energy. All these cycles are consuming enogh energy . But of course you can charge by solar panel, by tide, etc
    • Shaun O'Reilly says,
      9 months ago
      I think the excessive cold air will make a great Stirling motor project to drive a heater!

      Just think outside the box, people!
  • Jake Jaquith says,
    2 years ago
    I like the entire idea. The exhaust air should be cold enough for A/C. Does any one remember the original VW with no heat. I would think there is an alternator of some sort for the lights, so why not 12 volt heater or something like that. When this unit comes to the U.S.A. I want the orange one in the pictures just as soon as they come into the states, so please let me know as soon as possible.
  • mohamed says,
    2 years ago
    biggrin please notify me when the car comes to the u.s i would be the first one to buy it.
  • Peter Beck says,
    2 years ago
    I too love the concept of this car and, living in a flat area, would be very interested in acquiring one - BUT - we have winters here. A heater is absolutely necessary, even only to keep the windscreen demisted.
  • kenny g says,
    2 years ago
    Also live in Canada. Hopefully, the mini cat will have heat and a/c. Please email me when this car is available, I will be interested in buying one. and keep up the green work. Well done. Kg....
  • thomas sherrod says,
    2 years ago
    I want more information about the vehicle and I want to purchase the vehicle.I live in the USA.Texas
  • leginau says,
    2 years ago
    1 like
    biggrin
    this is great,i would get one.
    there should be plenty of heat from the directors of the fuel companys.....
  • Robert McDonald says,
    2 years ago
    I would most definitely be interested in purchasing one of these vehicles. I've always said that there must be a way to run a car on air (wasn't necessarily thinking of compressed air).
  • LaVonne Goldschmidt says,
    2 years ago
    1 like
    I'd love to have a care like this. I'm only 13 miles from work, but is costs me $50 a week to drive to work and around town. I'd love to go green in my community
  • HelenMcR says,
    2 years ago
    4 likes
    So what happened we are past mid year 2012! What happened to this amazing car?
  • frederickchallinor says,
    2 years ago
    2 likes
    I am very interested in your MINI CAT CAR i would like to buy one and promote it in the uk and spain
  • Jim Robertson says,
    2 years ago
    Been waiting for this car snice it firs tshowed on on the web. I would like to be the one to promote in Soutnern Ca.. I think it would make a big hit here for the green movemnet. send me one please and I will drive it all over the place for you. good day.
    • MANSOUR says,
      1 year ago
      i am a retired business owner in Ph.D in engineering. i would like to help in the commercialization of this car in southern california
  • Ian R Willis says,
    2 years ago
    Is this car available in austra
    Ia can it be shipped to Australia can it be driven in Australia can you buy in left hand drive and most of all on th road in australia?
    Looking far ward to hearing from you. Very interested in buying
    • w domanski says,
      1 year ago
      mate they would not allow the nano into ozz $2-3k for a 4 seater car would have killed our car industry,so i am pretty sure if it comes they will tax the crap out of it to make it comparable with our grossly overpriced cars.
  • brendan says,
    1 year ago
    1 like
    i first saw this car on the gadget show and think its a brilliant idea its a massive improvment on the electric cars and course its goin to have problems but thats y they need to start sellin them so then can get actual practical feed back for things then can go work on. start selling the car!!!
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