• Mar 5th 2008 at 7:02PM
  • 26
Click above for a high-res gallery of the Tata Nano.

The Geneva Motor Show provided our first opportunity to get up close and mildly personal with Tata's potentially revolutionary Nano. Overall, we're pretty damned impressed. The squat dimensions and short overhangs lend themselves well to the Nano's protuberant proportions, and as much as we tried, we had a hard time finding where Tata really skimped on the exterior elements.

There were two models rotating on stage, the $2,500 "basic" version that's garnered more press than Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan combined, and the lesser-known "luxury" version that gets an enhanced interior, some color-keyed body panels, fog lamps and larger wheels with an additional bolt (the lesser model only sports three lugs versus the upgraded model's four). Unfortunately, when we asked to take a look inside, the nice gentlemen from Tata kindly told us that the doors were locked and we'd have to make better use of our telephoto lens. That might be an indication as to where Tata skimped on materials, but for the money, the intended audience won't be expecting Audi-quality interiors.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Before everyone gets all tied up lets get a few things straight:

      - This car is NOT comming to America
      - It is built for Indian roads not American highways
      - It is meant for the lower middle class to upgrade from an unsafe 2 wheeler where the whole family is packed on to and into a safer mode of transportation.

      The speeds at which one drives in India does not require airbags or sturdy side panels.
      • 7 Years Ago
      You can laugh all you want. This is the last straw that will break the camel's back.

      This vehicle will be sold in North America one day in a different and adapted version.
      -no power steering
      -no power windows
      -no a/c
      -no leather interior
      -no abs or stabilitrack
      -no 5 star crash test
      -no air bag
      -no recommandations from Consumer Reports; at this price, who cares about resale valiue.
      and finally the most important:

      We better watch out. With all the manufacturing gone outside USA, the last fortification, Auto industry may well be on it's way out. What they can afford in India may well be all that North American workers could afford.
      By the way, Toyopet was also laughed at in the 60's.
        • 7 Years Ago
        No, it won't. The engine is not powerful enough to propel the car at highway speeds. In indian cities you rarely go above 35mph.

        The market is not there in the US for such a car. You might see another tata car with all those safety features but it wont be $5,000.
      • 7 Years Ago
      how many of you want to see brabus do an SLR/Nano combo package like they did with the 112? HAHAHAHAHA!!
      • 7 Years Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      "That might be an indication as to where Tata skimped on materials, but for the money, the intended audience won't be expecting Audi-quality interiors."

      Might? No it's 100% where they skimped on materials. cost engineering is a booming business in india, the point is audi interriors or even civic reliability, it's about providing a car to a segment of the population which could never afford it so their children dont need to ride on the handle bars of bikes. It's the same trend which lead to the $20 cell phone.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Sorry your wrong,

        I had a good look at the iterior when Sir Jackie Stewart visited the stand and was allowed into the vehicle. The interior in this high end version had some excellent red leather seats and good looking dashboard including a passenger air bag. There also seemed to be rear seat belts, leather steering wheel and I would assume matching gear lever and chrome switches on the dashboard.

        I think TATA have done fantastic with the nano, and the high end version shows the transition from low cost car for the masses to a small car with great potential suitable of satisfying consumers in the more progessed european market.

        Those of us that were at the show on both press day's would note that the low end vehicle was next to the high end version on the 4th and moved for the 5th to the other turn-table an indication that perhaps TATA were trying to avoid damage to this small wonder, even before the public are allowed in.

        I personally, I'm looking forward to the nano's visit to europe on a more permanent basis.

        Well done TATA
      • 7 Years Ago
      If they brought this over here with the proper safety appointments, Smart would flip. Imagine a brand new car for $5000 bucks that gets hybrid like gas mileage. This car would take profits from almost every car manufacturers. Fleet sales would be off the charts! I know American like their big cars ,but the senitment is changing as the population grows, gas prices rise and Americans now have to compete against a neverending onslaugt of emerging economies. Wow, the information age is crazy.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Well, my life is worth more than that... so unless they can prove without a doubt that a $5,000 dollar car is safer than my BMW 7 series, I won't be buying it. Gas could be $10 a gallon, and my safety still comes first.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I wonder if there is enough space under the bonnet to slap a turbo/SC. :D
        • 7 Years Ago
        Oops, I meant the boot. For a second, I forgot this was a RR layout.
      • 7 Years Ago
      There's no reason to be sarcastic Damon... I have a nice Pt Cruiser, and (for practical reasons) a people mover "atos by dodge" (that I love it) I'm really interested in Nano car for the city. The interiors...? I dont care with them.
      I really hate spending money with gasoline in the middle of chaotic traffic, maybe this is the response to cities like Mexico for example.
      • 7 Years Ago
      look guys this car is designed mainly for indian market so dont compare with US or european cars....india is a poor country...inspite of all economic boom 80% of indians are poor....economic boom has not changed the majority of peoples life....so this car was designed...necessity is the mother of invention....so please dont criticise and compare with other cars...praise the effort and engineering skills.....if u dont like this car no one is forcing u to like it
      • 7 Years Ago

      Looking at this car, I'd hope the clever engineering goes into future Jags, as there is no shortage of excellent engineering in India. Not to say the XF is bad, but I see a future for Jaguar in being part of Tata.

      That said, I want a Tata Nano. This car is the Volkswagen Beetle/Mini/Fiat 500/Citroen 2CV of India. It is the car that will mobilize the country and help to bring Indias caste system into the modern age. India is the worlds largest democracy and one of our (the US) allies. Due to their political and business ideology, Indians are beginning to experience the Industrial Revolution en masse. The only disadvantage I see toward to the Nano is the rapid and widespread car ownership of India and what it means to the world market for gas. Perhaps, in the end, we'll all be driving gas/electric hybrid cars like the Nano powered by boxer 2 cylinder engines.
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