Powered by a 12-litre engine, first time on a PRIMA truck.
Tata Motors seemed totally uncanny last month, starting with its rather supernatural revelation of first-ever sportscar TAMO Racemo. Before we recover from that startlement, the homespun company showcased the all-new ultra-powerful 1,000 bhp T1 PRIMA race truck at the Season 4 T1 PRIMA Racing Championship event! Built to match the standards of international race trucks under FIA in Europe, the behemoth truck hints at the brand’s scaling-up dreams and capabilities not just in the T1 and sport of truck racing, but also in the commercial vehicles space in India. The truck is, perhaps, the most-powerful truck in India ever, churning out 1,040 bhp of power at 2600 rpm and 3500 Nm of max torque at 1600 – 2200 rpm. It tore-apart the Grand Stand Straight at BIC with a whooping acceleration of 0-160 kmph within 10 seconds, finishing a record lap in 1:35:06 seconds, beating the regular T1 PRIMA race trucks by over 15 seconds!
Visually, this future-ready truck is the most graceful PRIMA ever, hiding its brute attitude inside a pleasant serenity. The T1 PRIMA cab has been extensively modified with low-slung bumper, tweaked side styling and a re-worked roll cage. Loads of weight-reducing measures are apparent. The chassis bores additional reinforcements to the frame for enhanced structural rigidity, while the pneumatic shock absorbers get 3 adjustment and displacement sensors for extreme performance. Inclined (slipping mode) bucket racing seat, along with a detachable steering wheel positioned with 20-degree castor angle are in place for better driving and cornering abilities, while the touch-screen driver information system is also a new addition.
Developed along with Cummins Inc, the 1,000 bhp PRIMA is powered by a 12-litre (11.8 litre) 6-cylinder turbocharged engine. Weighing just over 850 kgs (dry), the motor is longitudinally placed, almost over the center of the chassis for a balanced weight distribution over the axles, protruding far outside the cab unlike the regular T1 PRIMA truck. To withstand high pressure and temperatures at full scream, additional cooling fans and water spray nozzles are in place to cool the radiator and intercooler. The 16-speed manual gearbox with hydraulic assisted gear shifting is sourced from ZF. Interestingly, a fully-electronic (Wi Fi enabled) engine diagnosis system that can be remotely accessed is also in place.
On the braking front, WABCO has furnished the powerful PRIMA truck with single-piston Air Disc Brakes (ADBs) that offer more balanced and secured braking, in addition to ABS, Integrated Pedal Unit (IPU), and advanced air actuation systems. Air pressurised water sprinklers fed by 3 aluminium tanks (unlike 2 in 400 hp PRIMA) with a total capacity 180 litres of water cool the exhaustively heated brake discs, while slick-type smooth tread tyres sourced from JK Tyre features extra reinforced steel belts and dual layer tread compound.
This crazy truck is more than just a showpiece, as it seems quite apparent that a vision of PRIMA participating in international trucking events in the years to come is on the making. Although Tata Motors is tight-lipped on this, the 1,000 bhp truck project is likely to get a boost in the upcoming seasons of T1 PRIMA racing as well. The first 12-litre engine on a PRIMA, again, opens a whole lot of opportunities for the company in the international trucking market.
Tata T1 PRIMA 1,000 bhp Race Truck – Image Gallery
*An edited version of this article has been published in the April 2017 edition of MotorIndia magazine.