Take a look at the brand new car that’s yours for the price of a television!
From the company that’s set to take over Jaguar and Land Rover, this is the Tata Nano city car which is priced at only £1,250 in its native market.
At the exclusive launch event in India there was a stampede as the world’s media tussled to get a glimpse of the tiny new model. Like the original VW Beetle, Tata has tried to make a genuine “people’s car”. The Nano is appropriately named as it is one of the smallest city cars in the world.
Riding on tiny 12-inch wheels, the five-door model is 3.1 metres long, 1.5 metres wide and 1.6-metres tall. Inside, there’s a decent amount of space for four adults. The styling is sure to divide opinion, but designers have made an effort with a centrally mounted exhaust and distinctive shape.
The Nano is powered by an all-aluminium two-cylinder 623cc petrol engine delivering 33bhp through a four-speed manual gearbox. Auto Express can confirm that a diesel variant is also under development.
Like Volkswagen’s forthcoming Lupo replaceing city car, the Nano is rear engined and rear wheel drive. Tata claims to have tested the Nano of speeds of up to 65mph.
Meeting all emission and safety regulations in India, the Nano will be geared to meet European standards as and when it is launched here. The car has the provision to be fitted with airbags and ABS, however these are not offered on any variant in India as they are not compulsory.
While the basic model does without air conditioning, a deluxe variant is planned with more luxuries. The price for the range-topper will be higher, and Tata hinted that it will only profit from these more expensive variants.
The Nano will be produced entirely at Tata’s Singur plant in West Bengal which is still under construction and is going to have an annual capacity of 250,000-350,000 cars. The plant was flooded during the monsoon season, but construction work is underway and it is scheduled to be completed soon.
Current plans suggest the Nano will be sold in India for two or three years before Tata looks at exporting it to Africa, Latin America and S.E Asia. There’s a strong possibility of a global distribution tie-up with Fiat, which could see the Nano arrive in European markets.