Tata Nano wins design award, set for European launch

Tata Nano has received the Good Design Award for 2010. The award is conferred annually by Museum of Architecture and Design, Chicago together with The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.

Good Design was founded in 1950 in Chicago. Good Design bestows international recognition for advancing new, visionary, and innovative product concepts, invention and originality, and for stretching the envelope beyond what is considered ordinary product and consumer design. In 2010, the award celebrates its 60-year anniversary as the world’s oldest and most prestigious awards programme for product and graphic design.  The award for the Tata Nano has come in the category of transportation.

Tata Nano created big buzz when it was launched as the world’s cheapest car. Since its launch, Nano has been appreciated by all experts as it has spacious passenger compartment for 4 adults despite its small size. With a small dimension (3.1×1.5×1.6 meters), Tata still offers 21% more space than the smallest car (Maruti 800) available in India. The turning radius of a mere 4 meters coupled with the ergonomical cabin arrangement makes Tata Nano, one of the few cars to be extremely maneuverable in the smallest of parking lots.

Tata nano road test photo 1
Photo: Tata Nano

Nano is also one of the least polluting cars as it emits 101 gm/km, one of the lowest Co2 emissions amongst cars in the country. This is because the efficient 623 cc that sits under the boot of Tata Nano is fuel efficient (23.6 km/litre as per ARAI) in pushing the 600 kg kerb weight Nano. The top speed achievable is beyond 105 kmph but the company has restricted the speed to 105 kmph owing to safety. The engine negotiates inclines with a gradeability of 30%. (Read our long-term review of Tata Nano here..)

Tata Motors is addressing the demands for its Indian prospective buyers by launching upgraded Nano (Nano Plus) and a diesel version of Nano in early 2011. Besides, the company will begin exporting the car as Nano Europa in the next couple of years.

The Tata Nano was first displayed in Europe, at the Geneva Motor Show, that was held from March 6 – 16, 2008. The Tata Nano displayed in Geneva, which was the upgraded version of the Tata Nano, was the biggest attraction at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show. At the Geneva Motor Show 2009, the Nano Europa, European version of Tata Nano was showcased.

Nano Europa is 3.29 meters in length and 1.58 meters in width. A 3-cylinder brushed aluminum engine, electric power steering, and leather seats are the other features planned. Airbags for the driver and passenger, ABS and traction control, and independent rear suspension are the other additions for the Tata Nano Europa.

Tata Nano Europa will be given a 3-cylinder 1000 cc engine by Tata, which is capable of producing 60 bhp. The Indian Tata Nano, in all its variants, uses a 624 cc two cylinder 33 bhp engine. It is believed that after the modifications, and when it is finally ready for sales in Europe, the Tata Nano Europa is going to be priced between 4000-5000 pounds in the UK. American price should be similar too.

At the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, Tata Motors showcased the electric version of Nano which shows that Tata is not resting on its reputation. The Nano EV (Electric Vehicle) showcased will have a range of 160 km on a full charge. Acceleration from 0 -60 kmph will take less than 10 seconds. The cost of operation could be very low since Nano EV has super polymer lithium ion batteries powered electric motor which has proved its performance in Tata Indica Vista Electric. Nano EV is aimed for UK market followed by launch in other markets. The company has plans to introduce diesel, micro-hybrid and CNG versions of the Nano – all of which would be introduced possibly in 2011-2012. These new engines / motors too should find their way to the Tata Nano Europa when they are ready.