New Brazilian car company TAC has revealed their first car: the Stark. It’s a small SUV designed for off-road duty.
TAC stands for Tecnologia Automotiva Catarinense, and I’m not sure what that is in English. Google Translate will only translate the first two words (Technology and Automotive respectively). They first displayed a prototype in 2004 at SAE Brazil’s international exhibition, then another at the 2006 Sao Paulo Auto Show and yet another at the same show in 2008.
The exterior has been designed by Questto Design of Sao Paulo, and while some angles look quite rugged, the front end reveals an ugly duckling. Underneath the skin, it’s powered by Fiat’s F1A Multijet Economy diesel engine. This is a turbocharged, direct injected, 2.3L I4, developing 125 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque in the Stark. It’s connected to an Eaton five-speed manual transmission. To help it off-road, power is sent to all four wheels using a Borg-Warner 4WD system. The drive can select 4 Hi and 4 Lo using a floor-mounted lever, and he can also lock the rear differential.
The suspension is an all-independent double-wishbone design. It helps provide 10 inches of ground clearance. The short 100-inch wheelbase results in good approach and departure angles for off-roading: 49 and 44 degrees respectively. TAC claims it can handle lateral inclines of up to 45 degrees, and that it has a fording depth of 31.5 inches.
With off-roading being the primary goal of the car, performance has been hindered, to say the least. 0 – 60 mph is estimated at a blistering 15.8 seconds, and the top speed is a colossal 101 mph, although you’ll probably need a runway running all the way across Brazil to achieve that speed.
The interior looks rather poorly outfitted, and it’s not too spacious either. With the rear seats up, you have 3.5 cubic feet of space, and there’s still only 17.5 cubic feet with the seats down. And the price for this whole package? The equivalent of US$55,000. Overpricing, thy name is TAC Stark.
TAC will initially produce just 12 cars a month, but they plan to produce 220 cars a month eventually. If you’re interested but don’t live in Brazil, I’m afraid no plans for export have been announced.
Source: Inside Line