Ask The Best And Brightest: What Price Tata Nano?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
ask the best and brightest what price tata nano

The AP ( Yahoo) reports:

Tata Motors already has made a European version of the four-seat car that will cost about $8,000 when it debuts in 2011, and a Tata Technologies official said privately that the U.S. version is expected to have a comparable price. The official did not want to be identified because the price has not been made public.

A one liter, three cylinder engine making a reported 60 hp. Five speed manual transmission. Two airbags, ABS, traction control, and electric power steering. 14 inch wheels. [via Autocar] Would you bite for $8k? Everything sells at the right price. Where is the Nano’s magic number?

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  • Steven02 Steven02 on Jan 18, 2010

    I would rather buy a used compact for 8k than this. Likely will have more features than this and definitely will be safer.

  • MPS MPS on Feb 08, 2010

    A LOT OF IGNORANCE, MYTH, AND MISINFORMATION POSTED HERE. 1)ott, grifonik: The Nano does come with doors - the doors are shown removed in the photo, presumably to show the interior more clearly to journalists. 2)Flashpoint: The Nano is a safer car than most that are driving on American roads at the moment. For example the European/US version is a lot safer than a 2009 Ford Ranger SUV, and safer than most 4 year old second hand cars. 2009 Ford Ranger EuroNCAP crash test - 2 Star EuroNCAP rating Tata Nano Europa on exactly the same EuroNCAP crash test - 4 Star EuroNCAP rating expected with driver airbag only fitted. Note how the Ford Ranger SUV's cabin is penetrated and deformed in the crash. This is likely to pin the occupants feet in the crushed front of the cabin, and the deformed doors will prevent the occupants from escaping from a burning vehicle after an accident. Compare this with the much safer Tata Nano (see the after crash test photos), in which the passenger compartment is not intruded into, where the doors open freely and even the windscreen is not cracked. This is because of the well designed passenger protection cell and crumple zone. Many Americans believe mistakenly that heavier means safer. This is completely contrary to the truth as the above crash tests prove. Indeed, if a car is strong but light like the Nano, it requires less energy to be absorbed by the crumple zone to stop the car safely. This is borne out by the crash safety record of Indy cars, which are very light, and have small crumple zones, but are incredibly safe as proven by the horrendous crashes they can go through with the driver walking out uninjured. 3) Johnster, blue adidas: Yes the Indian Nano version's top speed is limited to 65mph and the wheel bearings are designed for 45mph typical speed. The reason for this is that the legal speed limit on Indian roads is 50mph, and you can rarely get up to even that due to overcrowding of the roads. You clearly don't understand the whole point about the Nano concept and how they got the price down to $2000 - the lean mean functional design philosophy. Nano is not about unsafe design or cheap design as many in the US seem to think, it is about intelligent no frills design - in other words get rid of anything that isn't strictly necessary or functional, and focus only on what is. Meeting all statutory safety regulations and environmental regulations, driving at the statutory speed limits, are all essential, so Nano meets those. In India it meets Indian crash test and environmental regulations which are the same as the European Crash test and environmental regulations of 3 years ago. In Europe and US it will have to be redesigned to meet all national crash test and environmental requirements without unnecessary over-specification in order to keep to the same lean and mean design concept. It has passed European NCAP crash tests with flying colours with minor modifications, and a very good 4 star NCAP rating is expected with just a drivers air bag. I believe the US NCAP crash tests have a lower frontal impact speed and a higher side impact speed than European crash test regulations. Therefore the US version will probably need to be modified differently from European version. Indian crash test standards will be brought into line with current European standards, so the Nano Europa will become the standard Indian version shortly. The Nano has an advanced safety cell and crumple zone like the Smart car, and its structure is very crash safe. Unfortunately in order to meet US regulations side airbags and catalytic converters which are expensive pieces of kit, are probably mandated, which is what pushes the price up. The US/European version will be similar to the SMART in specification. 1000cc 60hp 3 cylinder engine, 0-60mph in 8 seconds, max speed about 90mph, and a 4 Star NCAP rating. 4) Caffiend: You can always get cheaper used cars. There are risks with buying a used car though - with a new car you have a warranty and at least you know what you are getting, and you won't have to pay for expensive maintenance. Also most older cars will have a lower crash test rating than the Nano, as crash test standards have been updated in recent years. Used cars can be cheap to buy but expensive to run and maintain. Don't forget with the Nano, you also get 4.55 L/100 km (22 km/L, 51.7 mpg (US), 62 mpg (UK)) under city road conditions, and 3.85 L/100 km on highways (26 km/L, 61.1 mpg (US), 73.3 mpg (UK)), so it is cheap to run as well - unlike a second hand car. 5) Russycle: The Nano fills a particular niche - in isn't intended for everybody. It is a no frills urban runabout, a second car for shopping trips to Walmart and dropping the kids in school, a car for students on a tight budget, a fun car to put on a trailer behind a motorhome as we often see with the Smart etc.

  • DrBrian DrBrian on Feb 08, 2010

    MPS: hint those NCAP stars only involve a crash with one car. I could fill a ranger with petrol,flares and hand grenades sans pins , crash into you in the nano and still come out on top.

  • MPS MPS on Feb 08, 2010

    NCAP involves a car crashing against a solid concrete block fixed rigidly to earth. It is a lot worse than crashing into another car, because the other car will have a crumple zone which will soften the impact. Crashing into a static concrete block at 40mph is the same as two cars crashing into each other at a relative speed of 80mph (ie. both travelling at 40mph and colliding head on). Here is a crash between a Mercedes Benz S-Class and a Smart Car which demonstrates this (The Smart is roughly the same weight, size and NCAP rating as the US/European Nano will be). Notice how the Smart slices through the Merc's crumple zone, until the Merc's safety cage stops it. Although the Smart bounced off and turned over, it protected its occupants - its safety cage is not penetrated, the doors open, and the windscreen is intact. The Merc's occupants are also safe - the Mercedes Benz S class's NCAP rating is 5 star and is is one of the safest vehicles on the road. If the Smart had hit a Ford Ranger at the same speed, it would have been a different story. The Smart would have cut into the other vehicle's crumple zone as in the Merc, but it would have also cut into the Ford Ranger's passenger compartment and killed the occupants. The Ford Ranger makes a great demolition derby entry, because it is big and crumples up spectacularly, but does it protect its occupants in a crash? Absolutely not.