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The World's Cheapest Car

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Here what Tata's Rs 1-lakh car - the Nano - looks like!

January 10, 2008
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The Tata Rs 1-lakh car is here! And it's called the Nano!

Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata on Thursday unveiled the Tata Nano at the 9th Auto Expo in New Delhi.

Details of the Nano:

Ratan Tata, while unveiling the Nano, said: "The car will meet all current safety norms and all emission criteria. The pollution it will cause will be lower than 2-wheelers." The car, he said, is smaller than a Maruti 800, but has 21 per cent more volume or space inside than the 800. He said that the dealer price of the car will be Rs 1 lakh, plus value-added tax (VAT) plus transport charges.

The car's dashboard features just a speedometer, fuel gauge, and oil light. The car does not have reclining seats or radio. The shock absorbers are basic. It will sport a 30-litre fuel tank and 4-speed manual gearshift. One of Nano's three versions will come with air conditioning, but will have no power steering. It will have front disk and rear drum brakes. The company claims mileage of 23 km per litre.

The Nano, designed with a family in mind, has a roomy passenger compartment with generous leg space and head room. It can comfortably seat four persons. Four doors with high seating position make ingress and egress easy. Yet with a length of 3.1 metres, width of 1.5 metres and height of 1.6 metres, with adequate ground clearance, it can effortlessly manoeuvre on busy roads in cities as well as in rural areas.

Its mono-volume design, with wheels at the corners and the powertrain at the rear, enables it to uniquely combine both space and manoeuvrability, which will set a new benchmark among small cars. When launched, the car will be available in three versions. All versions will offer a wide range of body colours, and other accessories so that the car can be customised to an individual's preferences.

Nano has a rear-wheel drive, all-aluminium, two-cylinder, 624 cc, 33 bhp, multi-point fuel injection petrol engine. This is the first time that a two-cylinder gasoline engine is being used in a car with single balancer shaft. The lean design strategy has helped minimise weight, which helps maximise performance per unit of energy consumed and delivers high fuel efficiency. Performance is controlled by a specially designed electronic engine management system.

Nano's safety performance exceeds current regulatory requirements. With an all sheet-metal body, it has a strong passenger compartment, with safety features such as crumple zones, intrusion-resistant doors, seat belts, strong seats and anchorages, and the rear tailgate glass bonded to the body. Tubeless tyres further enhance safety.

The People's Car's tailpipe emission performance exceeds regulatory requirements. In terms of overall pollutants, it has a lower pollution level than two-wheelers being manufactured in India today.

The high fuel efficiency also ensures that the car has low carbon dioxide emissions, thereby providing the twin benefits of an affordable transportation solution with a low carbon footprint. The Nano is a development, which signifies a first for the global automobile industry, as it brings the comfort and safety of a car within the reach of thousands of families.

Tata said, "I observed families riding on two-wheelers -- the father driving the scooter, his young kid standing in front of him, his wife seated behind him holding a little baby. It led me to wonder whether one could conceive of a safe, affordable, all-weather form of transport for such a family." "Tata Motors' engineers and designers gave their all for about four years to realise this goal. Today, we indeed have a People's Car, which is affordable and yet built to meet safety requirements and emission norms, to be fuel efficient and low on emissions. We are happy to present the People's Car to India and we hope it brings the joy, pride and utility of owning a car to many families who need personal mobility," he added.

Nano, the world's cheapest car, costs almost half of the cheapest car currently available anywhere in the world. ''Since, a promise is a promise the standard dealer version will cost Rs 1 lakh,'' said Tata Sons chairman Ratan Tata. He informed that the car is 8 per cent smaller bumper to bumper, than the Maruti800 but at the same time 21 per cent larger in its interiors and can sit up to four people.

Dispelling myths that the car was not safe enough Tata said, 'The car has passed the full-frontal crash and the side impact crash''. He also side stepped emission concerns and said the car will meet Euro IV norms. While critics had been sceptical throughout about the car meeting safety and emission norms, coming as it is at that price, Tata said he was happy to announce that Nano meets all norms as would a modern car.

The Nano will come in three variants -- standard and two deluxe models with AC. The standard car would be available for Rs 1 lakh (ex-showroom), while VAT and transportation costs are extra.

The Nano is expected to be commercially launched in the second half of 2008. News reports say that Tata Motors hopes to sell 500,000 units of the car, almost four times the number of Indicas it sells. Tata plans to focus on a market segment hitherto untapped.

Not since the launch of the Maruti 800 in 1983 has any car gripped the imagination of a nation and indeed car manufacturers the world over so intensely. If commercially successful, the Tata Nano can alter the passenger car market in India, and perhaps the world, beyond description.



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I have a bigger tire/wheel combination on my wheelbarrow. I'd rather strap a lawnmower engine on a Little Tykes Cozy Coupe. Looks better and probably safer.

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Amazing!

Those are some tiny wheels it sports, and tubeless to boot!

The center IP is very nicely styled, and overall, this looks like a solid effort for the money.

One thing cought my eye...

...safety features such as crumple zones, intrusion-resistant doors, seat belts, strong seats and anchorages, and the rear tailgate glass bonded to the body...

Wow, you even get seat belts!!! :huh:

Hmmm...I wonder what the 0-60 time is? :lol:

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Amazing!

Those are some tiny wheels it sports, and tubeless to boot!

The center IP is very nicely styled, and overall, this looks like a solid effort for the money.

One thing cought my eye...

Wow, you even get seat belts!!! :huh:

Hmmm...I wonder what the 0-60 time is? :lol:

Seat belts are not common in India. I will say 95% of population do not wear them.

It probably will never reach 60.

On a serious note, it is a good effort considering it meets safety requirements and environmental concerns. Although it needs airbags if it has to sell in industrialized countries and a power steering.

Sly will be proud, a RWD small car.

Now where is my Chevy Silverado 2500 HD so that I can mow these things, :P.

Edited by smallchevy
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Umm, the NYT had a good article about this car—it's cheap because it is the disposable car. Don't bother trying to trade it in, just throw it away or sell it for scrap.

There are other rwd small cars. The rear-engined Mitsubishi i (similarly egg-shaped), and the Lada Classic (several iterations built in Russia and the Ukraine—of course it was designed before the Toronado or original Mini).

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They build cars like this in Europe, but you don't need a full license to drive one (a scooter license will do).

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Umm, the NYT had a good article about this car—it's cheap because it is the disposable car. Don't bother trying to trade it in, just throw it away or sell it for scrap.

There are other rwd small cars. The rear-engined Mitsubishi i (similarly egg-shaped), and the Lada Classic (several iterations built in Russia and the Ukraine—of course it was designed before the Toronado or original Mini).

Basically the depreciation is huge as soon as you buy it. It sounds like a consumer appliance to me. Another thing is there are no electronic nannies. Just hard core pure mechanical engineering. Really as Drew said, a 21st century model T.

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FYI, IIRC 1 Lakh is 10,000 (just 10,000, it is Rs 10,000)

Edited by thegriffon
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Basically the depreciation is huge as soon as you buy it. It sounds like a consumer appliance to me. Another thing is there are no electronic nannies. Just hard core pure mechanical engineering. Really as Drew said, a 21st century model T.

Well it would be, but mainly because there won't be anything left of it in a few year's time. It's more like a disposable camera than an appliance.

Edited by thegriffon
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FYI, IIRC 1 Lakh is 10,000 (just 10,000, it is Rs 10,000)

It is Rs. 100,000.

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500,000 @ $2500/car = $1.25B

Not bad considering the amount of money it cost to make this thing is probably nill.

Oh, and I'd rather have a Z06 than thirty of these things. Hell, I'd rather have an Aveo than three of these things.

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Oh, and I'd rather have a Z06 than thirty of these things. Hell, I'd rather have an Aveo than three of these things.

QFT

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I wonder if they will have a luxury version badged as a Jaguar.. :)

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It looks alittle scary, but then again driving anything the upper middle class Indian can afford on Indian roads is pretty scary.

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It looks alittle scary, but then again driving anything the upper middle class Indian can afford on Indian roads is pretty scary.

So I've heard...Indian friends of mine have told me stories of horrific traffic conditions, riding around on scooters...they say having a driver is the best way to get around in some cities.

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Road signs in India are mere suggestions. I would want a Hummer in India, to feel safe! :lol:

Lack of power steering is actually okay in smaller cars. Remember, the pump requires hp to run, and this car doesn't have much hp to spare!

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Lack of power steering is actually okay in smaller cars. Remember, the pump requires hp to run, and this car doesn't have much hp to spare!

hell my 3200lb nova has manual steering and its fine, i expect in a car that light it would be no prob

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Look at the Panel Gaps. Not bad for the price of the car.

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Road signs in India are mere suggestions. I would want a Hummer in India, to feel safe! :lol:

A Hummer? If a normal Indian car is a Tata Nano, I'd suspect driving even a Beetle would be safe enough.

is that hard plastics on the dash?!?!?!

:lol:

Look at the Panel Gaps. Not bad for the price of the car.

haha Asshole comments, but I love 'em!

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A Hummer? If a normal Indian car is a Tata Nano, I'd suspect driving even a Beetle would be safe enough.

haha Asshole comments, but I love 'em!

A normal Indian car is a scooter. Seriously. In India it's an automobile even if it has two or three wheels.

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It is Rs. 100,000.

Thank you.

I even tried looking it up and couldn't find it anywhere. The only dictionary of Indian English I could find didn't spell it as you see it now in print, although apparently in some regions outside India 1 lakh is 10,000. You will also see cruore in Indian articles and press-releases, which is apparently 10,000,000 or 100 lakh. Thus in India you will often see the annotation 7,78,45,500 instead of 77,845,500.

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