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Tata Nano Standard, in "Dazzling Red"

Tata Nano Luxury, in "Lime Yellow"

A minimalist interior is the order of the day for the Nano, as this dash shot and cutaway shows.
The "People's Car" gets 54mpg, seats five.

While there is no shortage of news from the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, the Auto Expo in New Delhi, India featured a unique new vehicle that might interest North American buyers wary of high gas prices -- and high vehicle prices as well. Tata Motors unveiled its interpretation of the "People's Car" -- a phrase that until now was the exclusive domain of German automobiles -- the $2,500 Nano.

With a length of just over ten feet, the Nano makes current "sub-compact" cars like the Honda Fit and the Toyota Yaris look like a 1980s-era Cadillac from the outside -- but nearly all of the interior space is devoted to the passenger compartment. Tata claims that the vehicle can seat five passengers, but the rear seat would undoubtedly become cramped, as the Nano is only a hair less than five feet wide. A highway trip would be a painful exercise, but Tata is targeting the car as an all-weather replacement for the motorbikes commonly used for family transit, so shorter trips with more passengers might be tolerable.

Power from the Nano comes from a rear-mounted 624cc two-cylinder SOHC engine, which produces approximately 33hp at 5500rpm, and 35lb-ft of torque at 2500rpm. Mated to a four-speed manual transmission and driving the rear wheels only, the Nano is in no rush to reach high speeds -- in fact, the more common 0-60 time was replaced by a "0-43" time of 14 seconds. The time to reach the stated maximum speed of 68mph was not given. This slow acceleration does let the Nano achieve excellent mileage -- estimates are 50mpg city and 60mpg highway. While other cars have exceeded these numbers, they don't share the Nano's low cost of entry.

The Nano will be available in two trim levels, "Standard" and "Luxury." The "Standard" is truly spartan, with vinyl seats, a single-color interior, black plastic bumpers and not much else. The "Luxury" lives up to its name by comparison, offering a list of features such as:

  • Body-colored bumpers
  • Fog lamps
  • Power door locks
  • Power mirrors
  • Air conditioning and heater
  • Dual-color interior
  • Fabric seats   

The sticker price for the Luxury model has not yet been announced. In addition to the two model choices, the Tata Nano microsite offers a range of accessories that can be viewed from the car builder, including pin striping decals, a choice of air scoop for the rear-mounted engine, and alloy wheels.

Despite the Nano's diminutive size, Tata is confident that it will be a safe vehicle, stating that it passes all current safety standards. With over 22,000 employees, a target production run of 250,000 units per year, and recent talks of purchasing Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford, Tata Motors could very well make this pocket-sized commuter car a reality in North America.

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RE: Not really animed at Americans...
By cochy on 1/10/2008 2:58:49 PM , Rating: 2
America's Hat

Ha. Are you talking about Canada? Never heard that one before. Funny Americans.

RE: Not really animed at Americans...
By christojojo on 1/10/2008 3:35:43 PM , Rating: 2
if he was referring to Canada he would have said...

America's back up army (no, no, never would be believed)

America's gorgeous neighbor (no, still not right)

America's doughnut stand (maybe, if he was referring to Canada's only worth while export. See I even ignored that funny thing sticking out of the shuttle. ;) )

America's number one ballet destination

(well at least my mother now has a place to work (eeeewww))

Yes Canada's motto is

"Canada supplying Ugly American with vices since .... a shit I should have gone to the University"

RE: Not really animed at Americans...
By Oroka on 1/10/2008 4:20:51 PM , Rating: 2
or maybe

"those American's up north that wont shoot my ass with a semi-automatic assault rifle"


"those people up north who didnt vote a majority for Dubbya"

BTW, Canada dosent want your mom, we have a 16 tooth minumum.

RE: Not really animed at Americans...
By christojojo on 1/10/2008 4:48:16 PM , Rating: 2
for the last time P. M. Harper if you don't leave money leave my momma alone.

P.s. we did vote a mojority for Dubbya. Yep, each oil company has a million votes everyone else .0001.

RE: Not really animed at Americans...
By Darkskypoet on 1/10/2008 10:23:50 PM , Rating: 2
Those people up north that sell us a crap load of oil? Donuts... Ha. Ha. funny. Try your largest allied energy supplier. Oil, Electric, Natural Gas, etc.

Thank you for being able to remember we are that massive, larger landmass to the north of you. It's amazing how many Americans can't find us on the map.

RE: Not really animed at Americans...
By christojojo on 1/10/2008 10:33:17 PM , Rating: 2
Its not that we can find you its just that there is not real point. ;)

By christojojo on 1/10/2008 10:38:02 PM , Rating: 2
The one thing worse than insulting you is making errors in the insult.

Humbly yours,

From the fifty "thingies" that are full of "stupid mericans" that your country has made a sport making fun of. ;)

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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