With diesel prices inching towards total deregulation, Tata Motors Limited (TML) is playing it safe with the Nano Diesel. On the sidelines of the recently concluded Geneva Motor Show, Tata Motors’ Ranjit Yadav has quipped that the Nano Diesel “isn’t being visualized at the moment due to petrol-diesel price equations”.
With that, the official word is now out about the Tata Nano Diesel project being put on hold even as test mules continue to do the testing rounds in and around Tata Motors’ factory at Pimpri, off Pune. The Nano Diesel was touted to be the most fuel efficient diesel car ever built in India, with a fuel efficiency rating of over 35 Kmpl.
Currently, the entry level small car space in India, populated by the likes of the Tata Nano, the Maruti Alto and the Hyundai Eon is predominantly a petrol engine dominated segment, with a sprinkling of CNG and LPG fuel options added to the mix. Mr Yadav of TML feels that adding a diesel to this equation doesn’t make sense considering the status quo.
While the Nano Diesel project is on the back burner, Tata Motors will go ahead with newer variants of the car, which is steadily being re-positioned into a smart and affordable city car, moving away from the “world’s cheapest set of four wheels” positioning. An upcoming launch in the Nano range is an AMT equipped variant.
Tata Motors displayed a Nano equipped with an automated manual transmission at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo. Dubbed the Nano Twist Active, this variant also featured a open-able tail gate. Expect both these features to make it to the new Nano variant lined up for launch by the end of this year.
The 5 speed AMT equipped Nano is likely to retain the 623 cc-twin cylinder petrol engine (37 Bhp-51 Nm) that it currently comes with. The AMT variant of the Nano is likely to feature power steering as standard. A price tag that’s about 30,000 rupees higher than the Nano Twist is likely for the AMT version. With that, expect an ex-showroom price of about 2.5 lakh rupees.