These are the first exclusive pictures of the new 2013 Tata Nano and as you can see the effort is to give it that slightly more upmarket look and feel. The Tata Nano was being used for a new ad campaign when Overdrive enthusiast Shubhankar got us these first pics of the unmasked next generation Tata Nano.
A chrome strip at the front of the Tata Nano runs between the headlamps. On close inspection however the finish does not seem too luxurious. That chrome strip can also be found at the rear of the Tata Nano just above the refreshed bumper which is now ventilated. The vents could also indicate that a more powerful and torquier engine such as a diesel is being placed in the boot that would generate more heat explaining the need for better cooling and intake efficiencies needed for a turbocharger.
What we could not see was a rear release for the hatch which we now know can be opened up unlike before. That only means a release will be found inside the car under the driver's seat. In the older generation of the Tata Nano you could not access the storage space in the boot area but now there is some usable space enhancing the Nano's practicality.
It also gets new wheel covers, the six holed unit looking more like something Alfa would use though we must add it's not too bad looking on the Nano too.
Apart from the exteriors what we also can see from the images are the seats though very faintly and nothing looks like it has changed. Even the dashboard area is still the same with the instrument cluster positioned in the middle of the dash just above the air-con vents.
It's also fairly common knowledge by now that the Tata Nano will also offer a few more engine options such as a diesel and one powered by CNG. This will of course help the Tata Nano reach out to a much wider audience than before in India.
The American turbocharger maker Garrett (now called Honeywell Turbo Technologies) which is also owned by Honeywell International Inc has listed on it's webpage the details of the Tata Nano diesel engine. The diesel Tata Nano will be powered by a 0.8L common rail engine which will produce 40PS of power at 4000rpm and 94Nm of torque at 2500rpm. This 800cc engine also does duties on the Tata Ace though without a turbocharger. It is quite possible that Tata will also offer this turbocharged unit in the 2013 Ace model.
The Tata Nano as we know it hasn't made the impact that visionary Ratan Tata expected it to. First it was plagued by the manufacturing problems in West Bengal that severely delayed deliveries. Later after moving production to Sanand in Gujarat it was hit by claims of cars going up in flames due to some electronic problems.
To date the Tata Nano hasn't had any competition and no other players have come forward with the intention of making one of India's and the world's cheapest car. That however does not discount the fact that for just around a lakh of rupees more most of India's billion strong people looking for affordable mobility can choose between the Maruti Suzuki Alto and by 2014 the forthcoming Datsun hatchback.
Now however under the leadership of Karl Slym who has moved to Tata Motors from General Motors, and is looking to restructure the company in ways never imagined before the Tata Nano may just be able to find its feet again.