Well, here it is, the Tata Nano, the People’s Car we wrote about the other day. The fuel injected, all aluminum, 623 cc 2 cylinder engine puts out 33PS (about 32 horsepower) and drives the rear wheels. According to the press release below, it has crumple zones, intrusion-resistant doors, seat belts, strong seats and anchorages plus lower pollution levels than two-wheelers being manufactured in India today.
I doubt this will ever get close to the U.S. but as a replacement or alternative to the little motorcycles and scooters in India and elsewhere, it could do really well. Is it durable or will it fall apart after a few months? We’ll see, but if people in those countries can turn scooters into vehicles for a family of 4, I bet they can keep something like this on the road, too. Very interesting.
Tata press release follows:
A comfortable, safe, all-weather car, high on fuel efficiency & low on emissions
New Delhi, January 10, 2008: Mr. Ratan N. Tata, Chairman of the Tata Group and Tata Motors, today unveiled the Tata ‘NANO’, the People’s Car from Tata Motors that India and the world have been looking forward to. A development, which signifies a first for the global automobile industry, the People’s Car brings the comfort and safety of a car within the reach of thousands of families. The People’s Car will be launched in India later in 2008.
Speaking at the unveiling ceremony at the 9th Auto Expo in New Delhi, Mr. Ratan N. 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.”
The People’s Car, 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 both standard and deluxe versions. Both versions will offer a wide range of body colours, and other accessories so that the car can be customised to an individual’s preferences.
The People’s Car has a rear-wheel drive, all-aluminium, two-cylinder, 623 cc, 33 PS, 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.
Meets all safety requirements
The People’s Car’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.
Link: Tata Motors