TATA NANO – The Defining Moment of Indian History!

Finally the Nano has seen the light of the day and was launched a couple of weeks back to the pleasure and excitement of Indians and people all over the world. A lot has been written all over the press about the Nano and the technology involved.

So I will not get into the specifics of the car and what it means. But for those interested I recommend visiting the Overdrive website. They have run a 7 part special on the Nano and you will get all you need. So here I intend to basically intend to dwell on few points which will fuel further discussion. If our readers have any doubts regarding any technical aspects then feel free to float it below and we shall discuss it. Too many technical aspects sometimes disinterests the general reader so I have tried my best to keep it general.

The CEO of Volkswagen, said that the entire world will have to learn from Tata how to make a small car. This from one of the world’s most successful small car maker to the newest and most amateur one. It speaks volumes because what was thought to be impossible and mocked at when the idea first broke out has now so successfully come out. And for all those who still criticize it they will have to just eat their words because the Nano is already a hit and is here to stay! And it will be sold in millions; probably the most any car has sold ever.

“The Nano is meant to take a small middle class Indian family around the town comfortably and safely”. This has to be remembered by each and everyone of us. The car has been designed just for that and from what we hear from the ‘First Drives’ it does this job brilliantly. So if anyone complains that it cant take a truck load of luggage to that u cant hit 200 kmph or that it doesn’t win a drag race then remember the line on top. It confirms to every part of the word perfectly.

Small Family-yes fits 4 or even 5 and very comfortably and spaciously at that; Middle Class- yes at 1 lakh any middle class family can afford it; Around the Town- yes handles very well, superb fuel efficiency, excellent ride and even tops a speed of 100 kmph; Safety- has passed all safety tests and in the Euro New Car Assessment Program has 3 stars which is a high rating. Just because it is an excellent idea and will serve the masses, the govt will not compromise on regulations and safety of our people. So like any other car, the Nano too has been properly regulated and certified.

Tata has applied for 37 patents! 37!! Usually new cars have 3-4 but this number shows that the entire car has been re-engineered. When they started designing, the main focus was to not have any historical burden on them i.e they wanted to venture into the unknown and invent, invent and invent.

Tata even has great experience in this as it has got around 400 patents for its previous work with other components and vehicles. When Tata bought Jaguar-Land Rover, many people were skeptical about Tata’s history as a car maker because it just didn’t have one. Loads of people now will have big smiles up there in England.

So what’s special in the Nano? The car had to be extremely cost effective but with no compromise on safety and reliability. For starters they put the engine at the back, kept only 1 wiper, removed the boot door (it is one complete body, there is no boot opening!), kept the fuel tank filler under the nose (eliminates a hole in the body) and built a body that is light, cheap and still extremely rigid, rugged and safe.

The engine for the first time ever has only 2 cylinders and it produces 35 PS of power from its 623 cc volume. Tata worked tremendously with its component partners for cost effective solutions. Bosch being the lead in this, it cut down the cost of the costly Engine Control Unit to peanuts. Everything was done with the feeling that there is no ‘no’ for an answer and that it had to be done.

The Nano has captured the imagination of the world. It has made all the right noises. Even the name is so apt for present times. ‘Nano’ – modern and indicates exactly what the car is. I wouldn’t be surprised if from now on Nanotechnology would refer to our very own Tata NANO!!!