Nano Variants Coming: Tuner, Hybrid And European. US Version Next?

Paul Niedermeyer
by Paul Niedermeyer

The Tata Nano is sprouting new variants in its global ambitions and to fend off the competition. Even before the little Basmati burner ramps up to large-scale production in its new dedicated factory, and possible franchise manufacturers take the bait, news of its offshoots never ends. Tata is managing the Nano brand’s exposure just fine. Lets start with the ultimate in mixed metaphors, the Darth Vader helmet-inspired “Design”:

According to a story in NYTWheels, DC Design, a tuner/customizer in Pune, India is showing this prototype of a their modified Nano arriving in early 2010. A massive front grill, blistered fenders, alloy wheels and over-sized air intakes are delicately integrated into the Nano’s design in a notably tasteful way.

“The world’s cheapest car has thrown up a few interesting scenarios,” said Dilip Chhabria, founder of D.C. Design. “Firstly, we think the world’s cheapest car does have a lot of sex appeal – in fact its silhouette of one sweeping arc is quite unparalleled and lends itself to customization.”

Battista Pinin Farina couldn’t have said it better himself. Moving along:

According to South Korea’s Maeil Business Paper, the Nano’s pater Ratan Tata has confirmed a hybrid version. The battery pack, to be supplied by Eveready, consists of 5,867 rechargeable AAA cells. Just kidding. No details were offered. We’ve been hearing reports about the diesel version for some time.

Harder facts are being confirmed about the coming Nano Europa. Autocar was given a tour and photo-op of the definitive Euro-spec Nano, due on the continent in 2011. The crash and safety worthy Europa is likely to cost from £4000 – £5000 in the UK. It will feature a 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine, of about 60 hp (Indian version has a 35 hp twin). The Europa will also be upgraded to a five-speed stick (the Indian version is four-speed) for better highway-speed gearing, improved fuel economy and reduced CO2 emissions. Europa models will also get ABS, traction control, electric power steering and twin airbags. And a US version? Stay tuned.

Paul Niedermeyer
Paul Niedermeyer

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  • Johnny ro Johnny ro on Dec 12, 2009

    If nano arrives in USA and sells I would respectfully ask VW to revive beetle. Not the golf beetle, a real, 1800 lb one with 50 modern hp.

  • ZoomZoom ZoomZoom on Dec 14, 2009

    Its' got something of a "bullet train" appearance. But is it a balloon? or did they merely make it out of a giant bean bag and just sew the doors shut on the side? That said...I kind of like it. "The car of shame". You have to drive one of these for a month if you are caught driving slowly in the left lane. Your friends will flee, your children will cry out in fear, and your wife will hide her face in her hands...

  • Dartdude Having the queen of nothing as the head of Dodge is a recipe for disaster. She hasn't done anything with Chrysler for 4 years, May as well fold up Chrysler and Dodge.
  • Pau65792686 I think there is a need for more sedans. Some people would rather drive a car over SUV’s or CUV’s. If Honda and Toyota can do it why not American brands. We need more affordable sedans.
  • Tassos Obsolete relic is NOT a used car.It might have attracted some buyers in ITS DAY, 1985, 40 years ago, but NOT today, unless you are a damned fool.
  • Stan Reither Jr. Part throttle efficiency was mentioned earlier in a postThis type of reciprocating engine opens the door to achieve(slightly) variable stroke which would provide variable mechanical compression ratio adjustments for high vacuum (light load) or boost(power) conditions IMO
  • Joe65688619 Keep in mind some of these suppliers are not just supplying parts, but assembled components (easy example is transmissions). But there are far more, and the more they are electronically connected and integrated with rest of the platform the more complex to design, engineer, and manufacture. Most contract manufacturers don't make a lot of money in the design and engineering space because their customers to that. Commodity components can be sourced anywhere, but there are only a handful of contract manufacturers (usually diversified companies that build all kinds of stuff for other brands) can engineer and build the more complex components, especially with electronics. Every single new car I've purchased in the last few years has had some sort of electronic component issue: Infinti (battery drain caused by software bug and poorly grounded wires), Acura (radio hiss, pops, burps, dash and infotainment screens occasionally throw errors and the ignition must be killed to reboot them, voice nav, whether using the car's system or CarPlay can't seem to make up its mind as to which speakers to use and how loud, even using the same app on the same trip - I almost jumped in my seat once), GMC drivetrain EMF causing a whine in the speakers that even when "off" that phased with engine RPM), Nissan (didn't have issues until 120K miles, but occassionally blew fuses for interior components - likely not a manufacturing defect other than a short developed somewhere, but on a high-mileage car that was mechanically sound was too expensive to fix (a lot of trial and error and tracing connections = labor costs). What I suspect will happen is that only the largest commodity suppliers that can really leverage their supply chain will remain, and for the more complex components (think bumper assemblies or the electronics for them supporting all kinds of sensors) will likley consolidate to a handful of manufacturers who may eventually specialize in what they produce. This is part of the reason why seemingly minor crashes cost so much - an auto brand does nst have the parts on hand to replace an integrated sensor , nor the expertice as they never built them, but bought them). And their suppliers, in attempt to cut costs, build them in way that is cheap to manufacture (not necessarily poorly bulit) but difficult to replace without swapping entire assemblies or units).I've love to see an article on repair costs and how those are impacting insurance rates. You almost need gap insurance now because of how quickly cars depreciate yet remain expensive to fix (orders more to originally build, in some cases). No way I would buy a CyberTruck - don't want one, but if I did, this would stop me. And it's not just EVs.
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