Tata Motors, the country's largest automobile manufacturer, is working round-the-clock towards bringing new dual fuel, petrol and CNG, version of its entry level small car Nano in the domestic passenger car market. At present, the Tata Nano is offered to Indian consumers in only petrol powered option and many rumours are doing rounds regarding the arrival of upcoming CNG model in the country. Industry sources suggest that the dual fuel petrol – CNG Nano model could see Indian daylight somewhere by the end of first quarter (Q1) of 2013-2014 financial year.
The development has been confirmed by Karl Slym, Managing Director (MD), Tata Motors, who believe that Nano CNG trim will set new benchmarks in the domestic car market. Further, the Tata Nano is ready to get a major facelift soon and the upcoming CNG kit laden version is anticipated to come along with the refreshed avatar. Hence, the expectations are huge regarding the model and most domestic car enthusiasts will be keeping their fingers crossed for the arrival of 2013 Tata Nano in India.
As per reports, the sales figures of Tata Nano have been dwindling during the past few months, which entailed the company to plan a brand revival strategy. The revamped version and inclusion of factory fitted CNG kits in the Nano carline can be considered aggressive efforts on part of Tata Motors, in order to lure mainstream domestic car enthusiasts towards investing in the model. At present, demand for the Tata’s entry level offering is lukewarm, partly due to its technical glitches and fire catching incidents, along with the absence of CNG and diesel powered models.
Tata Motors, the country's third largest passenger car maker, has pitched its Nano model in the entry level subcompact segment of the Indian auto market. Pegged as the company's most cost efficient brainchild, the Tata Nano entry level small car has no real competition in the country. In all aspects, right from pricing, exterior dimensions, mileage, engine size and driveability, the model happens to be the modest option available in the Indian passenger car market. The aggressive pricing has made Tata Nano one of the most sought after cars among the middle class Indian families, along with two wheeler owners who aspire towards upgrading to an affordable four wheeler.
The Nano model helped Tata Motors in establishing its image as a global automotive major. Evidently, Tata Nano took the worldwide automobile industry by storm when it was unveiled at the 2008 New Delhi Auto Expo as the ‘world's cheapest car', with a Rs. 1 lakh price tag. Nano's sub-$ 5,000 pricing helped Tata Motors in attracting immense applause and positive feedback from the top industry critics and analysts, along with the entire automobile press media. However, the entry level model failed to live up to its initial hype and recorded not-so impressive sales for the company in Indian auto market, during first few years. However, the sales have picked up lately owing to the increase in popularity for fuel efficient cars amongst domestic car buyers. Tata Nano boasts off a best-in-class fuel economy of 25.4 kmpl, which is impressive considering it is a petrol powered vehicle and delivers mileage comparable to those of diesel fuelled models.
Noticing the constant rise in prices of petrol, Tata Motors planned the launch of CNG version of Nano in the Indian auto market, so as to lure mileage driven domestic consumers. At present, the CNG fuel is offered at a cheaper price and also delivers superior fuel efficiency than the conventional petrol in the country. The Tata Nano CNG model has been observed undergoing road tests on multiple occasions in different parts of the country.
On the outside, the Tata Nano CNG has been given a same familiar look, just like its petrol powered siblings. Tata Motors unveiled the green and white painted Nano CNG trim at the 2012 New Delhi Auto Expo. The boot lid, along with a part of the sides of the variant and the rear view mirrors were coloured in light green, while the rest of the car was painted white. The CNG model also had a very distinct three leaf logo near the front wheel, which highlights the environment friendly nature of small hatchback.
Pricing has always been one of the strongest suits of Tata Nano and the upcoming CNG kit equipped trim is expected to bear a value-for-money retail price tag as well. Industry experts believe that the Nano CNG model might be around Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 40,000 more expensive than its petrol powered siblings. Hence, it is anticipated that Tata Motors might launch the 2013 Nano CNG at an introductory price tag close to Rs. 1.8 lakhs for the base trim, while the top end model could be offered to domestic audience at Rs. 2.5 lakhs.
Evidently, the upcoming 2013 Tata Nano facelift and CNG kit equipped models are generating a great deal of buzz in the rumour mill regarding their price and features. As per reports, Tata Motors has revised the Nano basic body frame and suspension mechanism, in order to enhance its overall safety and driveability quotients. The upcoming Nano model will come trimmed with new shock absorbers, coil spring suspensions and an independent McPherson Strut system, which will ensure a hassle free ride for both the driver and occupants of the car. Further, numerous other mechanical and electrical upgrades are expected to be present in the complete package of 2013 Tata Nano.
Engine & Specifications of upcoming Tata Nano CNG
The yet-to-be launched Tata Nano CNG version is anticipated to be come fitted with the same 624 cc engine under its hood, which currently powers its petrol fuelled trims. The Nano 624 cc petrol motor boasts off a Multi Point Fuel Injection (MPFI) system that increased its peak power output by almost 10 per cent, from 34.5 bhp to 37.5 bhp. Further, the peak torque delivery is also expected to be enhanced to 51 Nm, as compared to the previous rating of 48 Nm. The engine assembly will be mated to a four-speed manual transmission system with synchromesh on all four forward gears and a sliding mesh for the reverse gear. Further, the clutch anticipated to be used in the car will be of single plate dry friction diaphragm type. The petrol model of Tata Nano small car delivers a best-in-class fuel efficiency of 25.4 kmpl and the upcoming CNG variant is expected to continue a similar trend with a more decent figure.
Performance of Tata Nano CNG
The upcoming Tata Nano CNG version is anticipated to incorporate a sequential gas injection system, which will ensure that the vehicle does not experience any loss in power and deliver optimum performance, besides conserving fuel to the maximum. Further, the Nano CNG model is believed to feature a cutting edge leakage detection system that cuts off fuel supply, even in case of the smallest case of leaks. The sequential gas injection system will come fitted with a calibrated EMS system for smart switching between petrol and CNG systems. The driver can manually switch between the two fuel combustion modes (petrol and CNG) through a physical button provided. The yet-to-be launched Nano CNG version is expected to hold a 15 litre petrol tank as standard, along with a 35 litre CNG cylinder, which Tata Motors claims will not compromise on the luggage storage volume.
Exterior, Interior and Safety features of the Tata Nano CNG
The 2013 Tata Nano CNG model is anticipated to be almost identical to its existing petrol trim in terms of exterior dimensions. The length, width and height of upcoming Nano will be 3099 mm, 1495 mm and 1613 mm, in the order of their mention. The wheelbase is going to be 2230 mm in span, while the front and rear wheel tracks will be 1325 mm and 1315 mm, respectively. The Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of the 2013 Nano CNG will be around 1010 kg and the kerb weight is expected to stand at 710 kg. The exterior attributes of the upcoming model are believed to be of similar sorts like the existing version; however, if the dual fuel model is launched along with facelift, some major design changes can be expected.
Few interiors modifications are expected as well in the new Tata Nano CNG model. The green car will flaunt enhanced interior setting bundled with slightly upmarket upholstery and plastic usage. The seats installed on the new car are believed to be more comfortable than the present trim and will come bolstered with better cushioning and fabrics. The Tata Nano CNG will offer more legroom, headroom and an overall much better comfortable feel to both driver and occupants of the car. A factory fitted air conditioning system will also be offered in the top end model of Nano CNG.
The 2013 Tata CNG entry level hatch will come trimmed with more advanced safety features than the present model. Tata Motors has pledged to ensure that its Nano product incorporates the best of all security features that can conform to its humble price tag. The company is expected to offer front and rear seat belts, additional body reinforcements, remote central locking system, radial tubeless tyres and fog lamps in both front and rear ends, along with a door ajar warning system. Further, drum brakes have been incorporated at both front and rear tyres.
|Price||Rs. 1.8 to 2.5 lakhs|
624 cc, 2-cylinder MPFI (Multi Point Fuel Injection system) petrol engine
Peak power output of 37.5 bhp
Maximum torque delivery of 51 Nm
4-speed manual transmission system with synchromesh on all four forward gears and a sliding mesh for the reverse gear.
Fuel efficiency estimated over 25 kmpl
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