What's Wrong With This Picture: Speaking Of Downsizing… Edition

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
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what s wrong with this picture speaking of downsizing edition

Japan’s Mag-X [via Autoten] brings us this rendering of a Toyota low-cost car, said to be planned for a 2012 launch in India’s hot-hot entry-level car market. Expected to weigh about 1,322 lbs, Toyota’s Tata Nano-fighter is said to have an 800cc two-cylinder engine mounted out back (alá Nano).

Though Japanese car mags have a bit of a reputation for floating speculative renderings that later prove to be well off the mark, Indian Autos Blog notes that Toyota Senior Managing Director Dato Akira Okabe recently said:

We may look at launching more than one compact car model for the (Indian) domestic market. Our current market share in passenger vehicles is 3 per cent. In the next four years, we hope to sell three times our current volumes. And by 2015, our rate of growth will be in double digits

In other words, Toyota’s Nano-fighter might not look exactly like this picture, but it seems likely to be in development. With firms like India market leader Maruti Suzuki passing 1m annual production, and planning to double production over the next six years, Toyota needs a strong entry-level car to stay competitive in India’s growing market. As does GM, which is reportedly preparing a Nano-fighter concept [ preview rendering here] with partner SAIC, to be debuted at the forthcoming Shanghai Auto Show.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Joeveto3 Joeveto3 on Mar 23, 2010

    It's amazing what can be produced, when a vehicle doesn't have to comply with safety standards meant to protect against a "head-on" with an Excursion. As a motorcyclist who rides with little more than common sense, caution, the right gear, and a good helmet...I'd love to see something like this on the roads. Cars like this make sense to me. I'm curious, IF THEY COULD make one for the US market, how many would they sell? Might be the Bettle all over again.

    • Rod Panhard Rod Panhard on Mar 24, 2010

      I agree with you Joeveto3. It seems ironic that we motorcyclists are okay without airbags, seat belts, etc. Why not allow us the option of driving on of these for use as commuter cars in dense suburban and urban situations? We're adults. If we're used to wearing helmets to engage in various types of behavior, we're sensible enough to understand the limitations of a Kei-class car.

  • L'avventura L'avventura on Mar 23, 2010

    The Tata Nano is merely a rip-off of the Mitsubishi i. Which is a mid-mounted kei-car w/ a small-displacement(660cc) engine that looks identical to the Tata and has De Dion suspensions, but was released years before the Tata. Toyota/Daihatsu is not ripping off Tata but rather Mitsubishi and other Kei vehicles. Regardless, the developing world is where the growth is at. Thinner margins, but significant in volume.

  • Garak Garak on Mar 24, 2010

    Great, now you can choose between unintended acceleration and bursting into flames! If that thing is compliant with Euro crash standards, Toyota could easily drive Smart off the European market.

  • Tstag Tstag on Nov 09, 2012

    JLR are said to want Aston but Ratan Tata wants a price cut