Tata Motors used the timing of the Detroit Auto Show earlier this month to unveil its tiny little Nano here in North America for the first time, and we finally had a chance to see the cheap little runabout in person. At the time, there were some rumblings that the future Americanized Nano might sell for as little as $5,000, but the Detroit News is reporting that a source inside the company is projecting a price tag closer to $8,000 when the car hits the U.S. in the next three years.
Yes, that's more than triple what the Nano costs in its home market of India. Why such a dramatic increase? Says Warren Harris, Tata Technologies president:
If and when the Tata Nano does hit a dealership near you, don't expect to see a twin-cylinder engine measuring just 600cc, either. That powerplant propels the diminutive people-mover to about 65 miles per hour, far too slow for American highways. Instead, we'd count on at least a liter and probably a third cylinder in order to hit something more like 90 mph on the top end. We'll see.The structural changes that would need to be made, the changes that would be required as far as emissions are concerned, and some of the features that would be appropriate to add to the vehicle for the North American market, obviously that would drive up the price point.