The Nano managed to capture the public's imagination, but it didn't manage to capture the sales charts in quite the same way. Thededicated facility in Sanand Gujarat for the Nano is functioning way below optimum and is not even close to break-even. Tata has tried everything to improve the numbers, right from offering discounts to limited editions with added features and even mid-life facelift, but unfortunately things haven’t changed much. Now however Tata is working on a new version, one that will set the statistics right and give the Indian carmaker more than a fighting chance in the slowing auto market – the Nano diesel.
The test-mules of the Nano diesel have been spotted a few times making distinct clatter of the oil burners, but there is no official information regarding the same. Tata has been tightlipped about the development of the new hatchback, so we will have to rely on our sources for the time being.
The Nano diesel will look slightly different from its petrol counterpart, mainly for the better cooling required by the diesel engine. There is a possibility that the car will be launched with a facelift that will also be incorporated for the petrol variant. The new version will have few more features and better quality fitments. Tata cars have better interior space compared to its competitors; even the Nano is roomier than its rivals, mainly the Maruti Alto. The diesel version is expected to offer similar cabin space.
There is a word that the Tata Nano diesel will be an 800cc three-cylinder turbocharged unit. Turbo manufacturer Garett has updated their website confirming that they will be building a small turbine for the new mill. The power ratings are yet to be confirmed, but the diesel engine is expected to produce 42.9bhp and by virtue of being a diesel, a significantly higher torque. There are rumors that the diesel Nano will have an astonishing fuel efficiency of over 30kpl. Last but not the least, since the engine and transmission will be evolutions of the Ace pickup truck's drivetrain keeping the cots in check.
The new small car will be the least expensive diesel model in the country, and that will be its biggest USP. The prices will be significantly higher than that of the petrol model, but will compete with the top-end petrol versions of its competitors. The Nano diesel is expected to remain unchallenged for a while, as most manufacturers are working on diesel versions only in the B-Segment.
The diesel version of Nano is expected to be launched in India in early 2014. The prices of the diesel Nano are expected to start around Rs 2.4 lakh, while the top-end variant will cost around Rs 3.25 lakh.