backtop


Print 89 comment(s) - last by InTheNameOfMys.. on Jan 14 at 12:15 AM


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.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Just asking...
By diego10arg on 1/10/2008 3:44:31 PM , Rating: 2
Am I the only one who think this is a great idea no just for India but also many other countries?

OK, it is not a stylish car, it won't be a record-car in almost every point you would expect to, but I feel I need to say that not everything goes around what North Americans want/like.

No one will stop you from buying an SUV with a V10 8.2 Liter Engine, so just let it be as what it is, a small ultra-compact cheap car, targeted not for North Americans.

I do not want to be mean in any way, I think I just understand the car, from a different point of view due to the fact that I am do not live in the US.




"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay











botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki