Car news

24 September 2012

Where's the Nano diesel?

Why the world’s cheapest diesel car won’t be here till late-2013

Ashish Masih
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Tata is far from resting on the laurels they received for developing the 'world's cheapest car'. Instead they now have plans to make a diesel version of the Nano. Oh, and it's already delayed.

The Tata Nano’s diesel version will get a 800cc-two cylinder diesel engine with around 40bhp of power and 100-110Nm of torque at around 1,500-2,000rpm. The car was supposed to be out by the last quarter this year, but chances are that it won’t hit the roads till the end of 2013. According to industry sources, there are primarily three reasons for this delay.

Firstly, Tata’s engineers are struggling to reach the fuel efficiency figure of 30kpl that they had benchmarked for the car in their internal tests. Considering that they advertise the Tata Indica eV2 with an efficiency of 25kpl, anything less for the Nano diesel would look disappointing.

Secondly, the car’s noise, vibration and harshness(NVH) is still an issue, especially caused by the two-cylinder diesel engine. Adding sound deadening material would be the most natural method of reducing the noise, but it will add to the costs.

And thirdly, and most importantly the car's cost isn’t as low as originally planned. With quality issues having plagued the original Nano petrol, giving it bad publicity, Tata engineers do not want to take any chances this time around. To realise the Nano’s real potential, Tata Motors feels also it has to take the car a bit upmarket and distance it from its current ‘cheap car’ tag. So the car will be repositioned from cheap to a cheerful car.

Considering government's interest in getting diesel and petrol prices at par, they better do this fast before the carrot of a diesel engine ceases to look less appealing, right TopGearers? Speak up in the comments below.

Tags: tata, nano, nano diesel

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