Indian car giant Tata Motors will launch a production version of its Pixel concept car in Europe instead of the previously proposed Nano Europa.
The Pixel, revealed at the recent Geneva show, is a stylish, two-door version of the Nano that Tata claims is “the most package-efficient four-seater in the world”.
The Pixel is powered by Tata’s own ultra-compact 1.2-litre, three-cylinder diesel engine, producing around 60bhp and mounted under the rear seats, driving the back wheels via a five-speed gearbox.
Group chairman Ratan Tata says the car will partly replace the previously proposed Nano Europa, once its concept-only swing doors are replaced by two conventional doors and engineering of instrumentation and controls is completed.
The car is just three metres long — around 250mm shorter than the already compact Nano — yet remains a full four-seater. It should weigh around 750kg in European trim and emit well under 100g/km of CO2.
Tata said his company is also likely to launch a four-door Pixel, similarly styled but on the original Nano wheelbase. Both models will benefit from recent chassis modifications to improve the handling and help reduce noise.
The group chairman denied rumours of difficulties with Nano production in India, where he admitted start-up sales had been slower than first expected.
“The Nano is a different kind of car, intended to replace motorcycles in India,” he explained. “It needs a different kind of marketing, especially in rural areas, where buyers are new to cars. Perhaps we can be criticised for not having our marketing plans better in place, but we have corrected the problem.”
Nano deliveries have just passed 9000 units a month in a rising market, and Tata is confident of reaching 200,000 units a year.