NIFFT students check out the all-terrain vehicle in Ranchi. Telegraph picture
It’s called Terracotta Incognita for a reason. It’s a camouflage vehicle for all terrains — rocky, sandy, muddy, cratered, narrow, uphill or with hairpin bends — invented by students of National Institute of Foundry and Forge Technology (NIFFT), Hatia.
The tough vehicle prototype designed for police, paramilitary and army jawans was launched on the tech campus on Thursday evening. Present at the event were Vinod Agarwal, secretary of state science and technology department, representatives of sponsors as well as students and mentors.
A 21-member team of budding engineers from NIFFT had designed the vehicle way back in September. Now, Terracotta Incognita will test drive in Indore at a tech meet — Baja (society of automotive engineers) SAE India-2013 — between February 13 and 17.
The single-seater car will go through a tech test at the newly built National Automotive Test Tracks, Pithampur in Indore. “We are thrilled with our stage I success. If our vehicle passes the fitness test at National Automotive Test Tracks, we can sell the model to companies wanting to manufacture such cars,” said Vikas Utsav, a team member and third-year manufacture engineering at NIFFT, Hatia.
He added the past four months — from October 2012 to January 2013 — they have been literally spent sleepless nights perfecting the car.
“At the end of all the back-breaking work, we think it’s a cool product. Now, it’s for experts to say. We must thank sponsors NIFFT Alumni Association, Jharkhand Council on Science and Technology, Gateforum Education Pvt. Ltd, Recharges.in, Top Speed and CPC Equipment Pvt. Ltd for their help,” he said.
Initially, the production cost was pegged at Rs 4.5 lakh.
Finally, the cost rose to Rs 6 lakh, but no one complained.
“We assure you every rupee has been well-spent. We want to give our jawans the best vehicle we can to honour what they do — fight for our security. This car should work well in security operations,” Utsav said. He added they had wanted to make “a tough car for a tough soldier”.
“Our car can climb, turn smartly and zip over all kinds of roads and non-roads. We are looking forward to the tech meet and the fitness test at National Automotive Test Tracks. Then, we can sell our design to interested companies,” Utsav added.