There are certain vehicles that were born to be convertible. The Tata Nano is not among them. The plucky, inexpensive little transporter is somewhat lovable in hardtop guise with its round overall shape and ladybug proportions. The cheapest of cheap cars is just too cute to hate, but make the mistake of pulling back the top sheetmetal, and you've got a sight that can't be unseen. A photo of a drophead Nano has hit the web courtesy of Wheelosphere – a site dedicated to India's blooming auto
Some of the most famous cars in the history of the auto industry were some of the cheapest ones. The Ford Model T, the Volkswagen Beetle, the Citroen 2CV and the BMC Mini were so successful mainly because they were so affordable.
Earlier this year, there were reports of at least three Tata Nano runabouts channeling The Trammps and going up in Disco(unt) Infernos. Of the three Nanos that got the charbroil treatment, two of them were apparently due to a faulty switch. The third couldn't be explained, so Tata put together a team of 20 employees supplemented by a forensics expert to figure out what was going on.
Rajiv Dube, the mind behind Tata Motors' move into the passenger car world, has decided to part ways with the company after 27 years. Dube joined Tata way back in 1983, and neither he nor the company are saying exactly why the long-standing exec decided to move on. Our guess is that after 20 years, retirement was sounding plenty tasty. Cars like the Nano and Indica hatchback can all pledge their allegiance to Dube's market-minded approach to the automobile.
The 2010 Edison awards were announced last week and General Motors, Tata and Brammo were all winners for transportation related innovations. GM received a silver Edison award for one of the most useful new features added to its Onstar telematics system last year: the stolen vehicle slowdown that allows the Onstar operators to remotely cut the engine power of a vehicle that has been reported stolen avoiding high speed chases.
While the Tata Nano isn't sold here in the U.S., the $2,500 uber-economy car has in many ways put parent company Tata Motors on the international map. The reason for the Nano's celebrity has everything to do with its ridiculously cheap price tag, which gives many buyers in India a four-wheeled vehicle they can actually afford. But the Nano also gives the competition a low-ball target to shoot for, and rumor has it that Hyundai has the little Tata in its crosshairs.
Yesterday, we shared a scary bit of news about a Tata Nano going up in flames only minutes after it was delivered to a customer. This isn't the first incident involving a Nano catching fire – in fact, the folks at Indian Autos Blog report that three other Nanos have suffered similar issues, all while the cars were parked.