Tata Motors may unveil the much anticipated diesel version of the Nano at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo. The Nano diesel could be a game changer as rising petrol prices are push car makers to offer small diesel engines. The demand for diesel small cars consequently has been increasing.
Looks and comfort
Expect the diesel Nano to look like the recently launched 2012 Nano. There may be a diesel badge to differentiate the Nano diesel from its petrol version. Changes in the 2012 Nano such as the inclusion of adjustable front headrests and improved seat cushions will likely make their way into the upcoming Nano diesel as well.
The suspension system of the Nano diesel will be fine tuned to carry the heavier diesel motor at the rear. Hence, the ride quality of the diesel version will likely be more pliant than the petrol version particularly at higher speeds.
The Nano diesel is expected to be powered by an 800 cc, 2-cylinder common rail diesel motor. Though the power and torque specifications are not clear, there are speculations that the power may be around 35 bhp and the torque around 110 Nm. The mileage will likely be the USP of the Nano diesel as it is expected to return a fuel economy in the range of 30 – 40 kmpl. Expect the top speed of the Nano diesel to be same as the Nano petrol which is 105 kmph.
If a high fuel economy (30 – 40 kmpl) is achieved the running cost of the Nano diesel will be at par with that of 180 – 250 cc bikes running in the country. Hence, the Nano diesel may then be able to pull two-wheeler owners, which was the primary idea behind Tata’s Rs. 1 lakh car project.
The Nano diesel may likely inherit all the features offered in the Nano petrol which includes front power windows, central locking and front fog lamps. With an incredible mileage, the Nano diesel may be used for long trips and hence Tata may provide a boot door to easily access the boot space. But the USP of the Nano is its pricing. Hence we expect features to be at a bare minimum in the Nano diesel to help the company price the product competitively.
The Nano diesel is expected to be priced at Rs. 60,000 more than the Nano petrol which has a range of Rs. 1.40 lakh – Rs. 1.96 lakh. Hence, the Nano diesel may have a price range of Rs. 2 lakh – 2.56 lakh.
The recently upgraded Nano has been more of a cosmetic one and hence may likely attract only a few more buyers. But the Nano diesel has the potential to attract thousands of buyers who want a cheap diesel car for city runabout.
It is yet to be seen what the Nano diesel’s NVH levels will be like (even the Nano petrol engine is very much audible). But, do you think the running cost of Nano diesel is enough to stir excitement among buyers?