At the 9th Auto Expo in New Delhi today, Indian company Tata Motors has unveiled a tiny vehicle that is also affordable, safe, and fuel-efficient. While the official name for the vehicle is "the People's Car," it also goes by the nickname "Nano."
The car, which can get up to 54 mpg, will go on sale for $2,500 (1-lakh) in India later this year. The Nano can "comfortably" seat four people, and meets regulatory safety requirements and emission standards. Tata Motors hopes that the People´s Car will provide an affordable means of safe transportation for families throughout the country.
"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," said Mr. Ratan N. Tata, Chairman of the Tata Group and Tata Motors at the Expo. "It led me to wonder whether one could conceive of a safe, affordable, all-weather form of transport for such a family."
The car has a length of 3.1 meters, width of 1.5 meters, and height of 1.6 meters. The company explains that the four doors and high seating positions make getting in and out of the car easy. Due to the location of its wheels at the corners and the powertrain in the rear, the car is more spacious and maneuverable than other cars of its size would be.
The People´s Car has four-speed manual transmission but no power steering or other "extras." The 30-horsepower, 624-cc engine has rear-wheel drive and is made entirely of aluminum. Tata Motors says this is the first time that a two-cylinder gasoline engine is being used in a car with single balancer shaft.
While the lightweight car gets excellent mileage, it also has several safety features, including crumple zones, intrusion-resistant doors, seat belts, strong seats and anchorages, and the rear tailgate glass bonded to the body.
Buyers will be able to choose either a standard or deluxe version of the car, and also pick from a wide range of body colors.
Besides the People's Car, Tata Motors also plans to begin selling the Jaguar to an entirely different client base in the future. But details on the "Rich People´s Car" (not the official name) are yet to be announced.
More information (and pictures): http://www.tatapeoplescar.com/tatamotors/
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