Cougar Concept by Neeraj Pathak, India

2006: California.

Drawings on Display at Michelin Challenge Design™


Neeraj Pathak is a third year Electrical Engineering student at Mumbai University in India.

His motto in life is to merge his engineering excellence with his design skills to create the most innovative design solution. Therefore, designing is a passion and a never ending thirst for knowledge.

Other activities for Neeraj include designing and engineering robots such as robotic submarines, aero planes, blimps and off-course robust 4X4 vehicles. Some of these activities have fetched him national level prizes at IIT’s and other prestigious universities.

With his technical know-how and his designing skills, he is sure that one day he can merge both these fields to create the best and an example of that is his design solution, “Cougar”, which was selected as a finalist for the 2006 Michelin Challenge Design.


The California market has always been a center stage for the automotive industry.

There has always been a combination of style and technological advancement in the vehicle designs. Hence, by combining the latest fashion and techno-gear in vehicle design, I came up with a unique design solution named the COUGAR concept. The concept is designed taking in consideration the need of the California market.

It takes its inspiration from the cougar (or puma), which is highly agile, fast and intelligent. This little baby is a perfect match for the California market as it has both style and technically advanced solution. COUGAR is a little 3-seater 4-wheel drive eco-friendly vehicle. It is powered by 4 – (70hp / dc) high-traction speed motors.

The power house of this little-junk is a light weight and compact generator (a 200hp motor coupled with a 1-litr rotary engine). Still the ingenuous idea is the powertrain which is the most compact ever designed. It actually has a motor and the gearbox combined and cramped into the wheel itself. This is possible due to the small and a compact gearbox made of planetary gears.

The cougar has an added advantage due to this system. It is possible to have a skit steering mode too. In this, the left 2-motors are linked and controlled through the computer while same on the right, by making the right combination move forward and left combination reverse we can take a right turn in 360 degrees. This makes the easy-parking and maneuverability of the vehicle very high.

Since it is a four-wheel drive it is possible to drive it on rough terrain at the same time due to its generator option you can take the cougar for an off-road trip or camping too. The cougar is fitted with the integrated suspension in the tire, which are switched according to the road condition and is measured by the highly sensitive pressure transducers. They coordinate with the integrated suspension and also the external suspension to keep you in the best comfort level. Hence, Cougar just fits well into the all purpose car.