Nano CNG by March 2012 and Nano diesel by early 2013

Tata Motors is planning to launch the Nano CNG by the end of current fiscal year (March 2013). The Nano CNG will likely help boost sales owing to the cheaper running costs of CNG cars over petrol cars.

“Tata Motors is gearing up for the Nano CNG variant’s launch. The CNG variant is expected to be launched by end of this fiscal,” Bloomberg UTV quoted a source as saying. The source also added that the Nano diesel will hit the production by the end of 2012 and will be 30% moreexpensive than the petrol variant.

2012 tata nano
Photo: The Nano will attract a lot of buyers in its CNG and diesel avatars

Nano CNG

Tata Motors showcased the Nano CNG at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo. Tata Nano CNG looked exactly like regular Nano model except for the CNG kit. The CNG kit will include a 35 litre CNG tank. Due to the fuel tank, the kerb weight of the car has gone up by roughly 100 kg and the car now weighs 710 kg. We expect the rear suspension of the Nano CNG variant to be tweaked to handle the weight of the CNG tank.

As per the Tata Motors, the Nano CNG is a bi-fuel vehicle that can switch to CNG with best-in-class CNG mileage. The sequential gas injection system with a calibrated EMS system helps to switch easily between CNG and petrol. For added safety the company states that a software controlled CNG circuit ensures CNG cut off even in case of a diminutive leak. The CNG kit components are intelligently packaged in such a way that it does not occupy boot space.

Nano Diesel

The Nano diesel was expected at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo but the company did not showcase it. Two weeks ago, CarToq had reported that the Nano diesel was spotted testing, which hinted that the Nano diesel launch may happen soon.

The Nano diesel is expected to be powered by an 800 cc, two-cylinder common rail diesel engine that may put out 35 bhp of power and 110 Nm of torque. The mileage is speculated to be over 30 kmpl which sums up to a very low running cost.  When launched, the Nano diesel will become the smallest diesel hatchback with the smallest diesel engine in a passenger car. At present, the Beat diesel has the smallest diesel engine (1-litre).

The price of the Nano diesel may be Rs. 40,000 more than the Nano petrol which is priced in the Rs. 1.43 lakh – Rs. 2 lakh range.

Conclusion

Since the launch of 2012 Nano in November 2011, the sales have been over 7,000 units in the last four months hitting an all-time high of 10,475 units in March 2012. This must have encouraged the company to offer more variants such as the Nano CNG and Nano diesel.  Given that the Nano petrol is already fuel efficient (25 kmpl, ARAI-certified), we expect the USPs of Nano CNG and Nano diesel will also be their class-leading fuel efficiency. Hence the Nano CNG and Nano diesel will likely attract running cost-conscious, small car buyers.