Currently reading: World's cheapest car launched: Tata Nano
Tata’s ‘People’s Car’ unveiled at New Delhi show; costs £1300, launches late 2008
Autocar
News
2 mins read
10 January 2008

Indian business magnate Ratan Tata has just taken the covers off the car that could open up car ownership to millions within the sub-continent’s billion-strong population. It’s called the Tata Nano, and Autocar can bring you pictures of it, together with all the specifics.Ratan Tata introduced his much-anticipated ‘lakh car’ (a lakh being India’s colloquial term for 100,000 rupees – about £1300) to an expectant crowd at the New Delhi motor show only hours ago. Having pledged to engineer a car for the many millions of India’s families for whom a motorbike is the primary means of transportation, he posed for photographs in the Nano, saying “a promise is a promise.”

India’s ‘People’s Car’ in detail

At just over three metres in length, the Nano is longer than a Smart Fortwo but shorter than a Mitsubishi i. The twin-cylinder, 623cc petrol engine powering it drives the rear wheels, and sits directly above them to the right of the rear of the car, with a four-speed manual gearbox immediately to its left.The car’s monobox design means that its cabin can accommodate four six-foot adults, entering through its four doors. Although it’s considerably shorter than India’s current top-selling car, the Maruti 800, it has 21 per cent more passenger space.The Tata Nano weighs around 600kg. Developing 32bhp at 5500rpm, its parallel twin petrol engine delivers only modest performance – Tata claims 0-44mph in 14secs and between 66- and 70mph flat out. And with high-profile 12in wheels as standard, and unassisted drum brakes at each corner, braking performance should be similarly modest.However, Tata insists that this car conforms to all of India’s crash and emissions guidelines. If the mission that brought it to the road succeeds, it will provide the millions of families who commute on a single motorbike a much safer means of getting from A to B.

Next for the Nano

The Tata Nano will go on sale in India later this year. When production hits full stride, Tata expects to be making a million of them every year and, although it is without creature comforts such as air conditioning, power steering and electric window at the moment, better specced versions will come later.Tata's plan is to export the Nano to the UK and the rest of continental Europe, but only after it is established in India.Also mooted by Tata is a diesel-engined variant which should better the petrol’s 57mpg and its CO2 emissions.

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SpecB 14 January 2008

Re: World's cheapest car launched: Tata Nano

WagonR wrote:
Which is exactly why I added "real or percieved"! Things like the Priapus (green virility symbol ho ho) and Lexus' stonking great hybrid SUV are interesting technology demonstrators which might lead somewhere useful one day (Stirling engined hybrid anyone?), but in the real world at the moment the best thing anyone can do to minimise their CO2 emissions while continuing to enjoy the undoubted benefits of independant personal mobility is to drive the smallest, lightest car which will meet their needs - hence the interest in the subject of this discussion.

I got that thanks and I do agree that the technology is worth pursuing but it is not worth the extra money for the small difference ot makes at the moment - who knows where it will be in 10 years time though.

SpecB 14 January 2008

Re: World's cheapest car launched: Tata Nano

DradusContact wrote:
SpecB, you say you pay for your emmissions, and well in a way we all do. And if what you paid went towards carbon offsetting then we could all rest easy at night. But whether your in band A or G, the trouble is the money all goes to the same place, lining pockets in london.

I agree with your sentiments to an extent - This government charges us in the name of "green" but the money doesn't do anything - the way they look at it is that as you can afford to run such a car then you can afford to subsidise us and don't get me wrong it does annoy me.

If I didn't work on my own then I could car share but I need to be able to go somewhere at a moment's notice and if I didn't have my car then this would cause problems with the business.

My wife works where no public transport goes anywhere near and so this is out fo her as well.

WagonR 14 January 2008

Re: World's cheapest car launched: Tata Nano

SpecB wrote:

Personally I think the likes of the green car are a waste of time - if I owned a Prius then it would only ever run on the petrol engine!

Which is exactly why I added "real or percieved"! Things like the Priapus (green virility symbol ho ho) and Lexus' stonking great hybrid SUV are interesting technology demonstrators which might lead somewhere useful one day (Stirling engined hybrid anyone?), but in the real world at the moment the best thing anyone can do to minimise their CO2 emissions while continuing to enjoy the undoubted benefits of independant personal mobility is to drive the smallest, lightest car which will meet their needs - hence the interest in the subject of this discussion.