March 24, 2009 The Tata Nano has arrived. The world's cheapest new car at around USD$2500 was first announced in January last year and is now available for sale... but you may have to join the queue. The car is currently being manufactured in limited numbers at the company's Pantnagar plant in Uttarakhand while a new dedicated plant in Gujarat with an annualized capacity of 350,000 cars will not come online until 2010. In the meantime, the first 100,000 cars will be allocated at random to those who've put down a deposit.

What you get

The four-seater Nano is powered by a 2-cylinder aluminium MPFI 624cc petrol engine mated to a four-speed gear box and delivering 34 HP @ 5250rpm and a torque of 48 Nm @ 3000 rpm.

The Tata Nano has a length of 3.1 meters, width of 1.5 meters and height of 1.6 meters, which is the smallest exterior footprint for a car in India, but is 21% more spacious according to Tata Motors, with a high seating position making entry and exit easy.

The three trim levels and their key features available at launch are:

  • Tata Nano Standard (BSII* and BSIII*): The standard version, in three color options, single-tone seats, and fold-down rear seat;
  • Tata Nano CX (BSII* and BSIII*): In five color options, with heating and air-conditioning (HVAC), two-tone seats, parcel shelf, booster-assisted brakes, fold-down rear seat with nap rest;
  • Tata Nano LX (BSIII*): With the features of CX plus complete fabric seats, central locking, front power windows, body colored exteriors in three premium colors, fog lamps, electronic trip meter, cup holder in front console, mobile charger point, and rear spoiler. Many of these features are not available on current entry-level small cars in the country, says Tata Motors.
  • Performance specifications

    The 2-cylinder engine delivering 34 HP @ 5250 rpm and a torque of 48 Nm @ 3000 rpm, enables the car to have a top speed of 105 kmh and negotiate inclines with a gradeability of 30% says Tata motors.

    Fuel efficiency is 23.6 km/liter as certified by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) under mandated test conditions, claimed by Tata Motors to be the highest for any petrol car in India.

    Tata Motors says that the high fuel efficiency, coupled with a low curb weight of 600 kg, ensures that the Tata Nano – at 101 gm / km – has the lowest CO2 emission amongst cars in India.

    The Tata Nano's safety performance is claimed by Tata Motors to exceed current regulatory requirements, passing the roll-over test and offset impact, which are not regulated in India. The Nano has an all sheet-metal body, reinforced passenger compartment, crumple zones, intrusion-resistant doors, seat belts, tubeless tires and complies fully with existing Indian safety standards.

    *Note: Tata Motors advise that BS II, BS III and BS IV are the India mandatory norms for Nitrogen Oxides, Hydrocarbons, Carbon Monoxide and particulates. These norms are substantially aligned with the European norms Euro II, Euro III and Euro IV; the main difference is that the peak speed in the extra urban driving cycle is 90 km/h in India and 120 km/h in Europe.