Tata Motors Updates Nano for 2012

Thrifty Nano receives upgrades for the Indian market.

The Tata Nano is the world’s cheapest car and by cheap we mean two things: its low, low price point and its build quality. The former describes a car that has retailed for under $2,500; the latter describes the materials used to keep the price within range of the typical Indian consumer. Seating four passengers, the Nano has received some updates for 2012 including improved fuel efficiency, an upgraded interior, best in class air-conditioning and new exterior colors.

As before, the Nano is powered by a 624cc two-cylinder engine that is paired with a 4-speed manual transmission. This engine produces 37 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 52 foot-pounds of torque at 4,000 rpm. To say that this car is underpowered is an understatement, but for the emerging Indian market the Nano makes driving this car a reality for hundreds of millions of Indians.

Current Pricing

The 2012 Tata Nano standard is priced from Rs.1.40 lakhs, which is the equivalent of US$2,678 based on today’s exchange rates. The Tata Nano CX retails for $3,253 and the Nano LX goes for $3,750. Since it first went on sale, Nano sales have fallen short of projections. Still, the automaker has demonstrated its interest in offering a vehicle to millions of Indians whose normal mode of conveyance is a motorcycle.

Tata Nano Dimensions

2012 Tata Nano

  • Priced from about $2,700
  • Three models available
  • 624cc engine; 4-speed transmission
  • Top speed of 105 km (65 mph)
  • Equivalent 60 mpg fuel efficiency
  • Lowest CO2 emissions of any Indian car
  • Available passenger side mirror
  • Available body colored bumpers
  • 12-volt outlet now available
  • Dual colored vinyl seats standard
  • Nano LX offers front power windows
  • Available at 676 Indian outlets
  • Tata owns Jaguar Land Rover

The Tata Nano is 122 inches long, 59 inches wide and 65 inches tall. This model sits on an 87.8-inch wheelbase. Weighing just 1,323 pounds, the 2012 Tata Nano offers an independent, lower wishbone, McPherson struts with gas filled dampers and anti-roll bar for the front. An independent, semi-trailing arm with coil spring and gas filled shock absorbers are used in the rear. Front and rear drum brakes, and 12-inch tubeless radial tires are among the other specifications for this model.

Its extremely low price makes the Tata Nano affordable for many, but this car also has many accessories to choose from for owners who wish to customize their cars. Mud flaps, Disney decals, front bumper protectors, side rub rails, alloy wheels, exhaust tips, and front and rear body kits are available after the sale.

U.S. Market

Will the Tata Nano ever be sold in the United States as had previously been promised? Tata hasn’t committed to the American or European markets yet although the Indian automaker has begun to sell the Nano in Sri Lanka and in Nepal. If a model does appear here it will have to go through extensive and expensive conformity testing first, an expense Tata Motors may not be willing to incur in today’s tough economic climate.

Photo: Tata Motors