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Jan 10, 2008 at 11:58am IST

First Look: Ratan Tata unveils Nano

New Delhi: The secret is out. As Ratan Tata unveiled what was perhaps the most-hyped four-wheeler of the year, excitement was palpable at the Auto Expo show in New Delhi. As Nano, Tata's famed Rs 1-lakh car, was unveiled, there was a thunderous applause from those present.

The base model of Nano will cost Rs 1 Lakh excluding levies.

The car will have a three-cylinder 800-cc petrol engine with 33 bhp of power. It will also have a 30-litre fuel tank and four-speed manual gearshift. The car will come with air conditioning, but will have no power steering.

NANO TECHNOLOGY: Ratan Tata unveils Nano, Tata's Rs 1-lakh car, at the Auto Expo in New Delhi.

The car will have front disk and rear drum brakes. The company claims mileage of 22 kmpl in city and 26 kmpl on highway.

Ratan Tata, the 70-year-old chairman of the Tata group who personally shaped the development of what he calls the 'People's Car', will unveil the automobile that has created a global buzz among industry watchers and auto enthusiasts alike.

The initiative will determine Tata's place in the global automotive arena, where the battle is increasingly being fought in emerging economies such as India, China and Russia.

Only 10 years ago, Tata Motors Ltd unveiled its first car, a hatchback, that established the truck maker's credentials as a car maker.

The new model, using re-engineered plastics and modern adhesives, is a far cry from the premium Jaguar and Land Rover bands Tata is negotiating to acquire from Ford Motor Co.

Tata Motors' drive to produce a cheap, no-nonsense, small car was born from close observation of a local market where millions often ferry families of four, plus baggage, on motorbikes and scooters.

Watch out for the first exclusive pictures of the car only on IBNLive

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Critics initially derided Tata's Rs 1-lakh, price target, more so as oil and steel prices rocketed. But global car makers have taken note and are scurrying for their own versions to meet growing environmental and cost concerns.

The car would appeal to those who till now have managed with a two-wheeler. People are really excited about the car.

"Chaar jan to compulsory baithna chahiye. Husband, wife aur do bacche ke liye (It should seat at least four people. Husband, wife and their two children), " a man who had come to the Auto Expo said.

"It will look more like a Maruti Van," another person added.

However, Tata Motors has gone all out to make sure Ratan Tata's plan of a Rs 1 lakh car doesn't miss the price point. But with various duties adding up to a significant portion of a new car's ex-showroom price, do not be surprised if on Thursday the sticker price shows it well over a lakh.

(With inputs from moneycontrol.com, Reuters, CNN-IBN)

Watch out for the first exclusive pictures of the car only on IBNLive

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