The Tata Nano can now be ordered as a compressed natural gas variant, a fuel that is being used increasingly in the Asia-Pacific region. The announcement was made alongside details of a mid-life refresh for the Nano, designed to enhance the appeal of the car.
Other new features include remote keyless entry, twin gloveboxes and a new AmphiStream sound system with Bluetooth and USB support. The Nano's interior has also been refreshed with new exterior colour options and personalisation kits available, too.
Sales of the Nano have fallen below expectations in its home market of India — in fact Tata's passenger vehicle sales fell by 15 per cent in the year to March 31. Mumbai-based automotive analyst Yaresh Kothari told the Financial Times: "The company has been trying hard to arrest its slide in the passenger vehicles sector.
"Refreshers have not worked in the past, so considering the demand environment is sluggish and competitor intensity is increasing, refreshers may not be sufficient to gain market share.”
Tata has previously tried unsuccessfully to entice Indian buyers into its showrooms with offers to buy back older models and allowing customers to purchase a Nano using their credit cards, but the tactic hasn't worked.
Latest statistics place 1.5 million CNG vehicles in India, the Nano's home market, making it one of the world's largest users of the alternative fuel technology. Other models in the Tata range, including the Indigo and the Indica city car are also offered as a CNG variant.
The Nano costs £1700 and comes with a 635cc, twin-cylinder engine developing 35bhp. It weighs 600kg and can acheive 55mph.