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Tata Nano - Nano second to none!
It may have started as one man s dream and grew up to be a hope for a whole nation. But today, the Tata Nano is a car capable of defining its own category. BSM presents a definitive road test of what is, in all
By : BIJOY KUMAR Y | Published : April 12, 2009
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After exchanging pleasantries with the genial Tata Motors staff, I walked towards the sunshine yellow Nano parked in the middle of the skid-pad at the Tata Motors test track. After writing about it, spreading rumours about it (like almost everyone else), after seeing it and thinking a lot about it, it was time to drive the Nano. It was not a long walk to the car, but with every step there was an overwhelming sense of occasion building within me. I am sure the sensation would be the same in the minds of researchers who were approaching an alien spaceship which had landed on Earth for the first time.
I got into the car, summoned the key and started it. The engine sprang to life with the combined ignition noises of a four-stroke scooter and a car and settled down to a slightly busy idle. Pressing the feeble-looking clutch lever down, I selected first gear. Almost like a racing driver who is about to drive an F1 car for the first time, I didn’t want to stall the car. To ensure that, I ran the clutch a bit as my right leg sank into the accelerator pedal. The car accelerated spiritedly to 35 kph and it was time to shift to second, which took the speedo needle above the 60 kph mark. Third saw the car touch 90 kph and soon we attained v-max of the Nano – 105 kph in fourth gear. There, in a single spirited acceleration run, the Nano had changed everything that I was expecting from the small car

It was behaving more like a mainstream car and I was expecting a lot more shudder at the launch, more vibrations on the move and lots more noise than what was present. Soon it was time to jab the brake, reduce some speed and enter the smaller skid pad at the other end of the track. Downshifting a gear, I threw the car into the circular bit and went back on the power. Sure, there was an element of body roll, but the Nano levelled out like any mature car and headed for the next straight. The smooth acceleration, well planted stance and the gutsy nature of the two-cylinder engine in that first drive will remain etched in my mind forever.  In short, this is not a baby car or an alternate to the car as many, including me, thought it would be. It is a well-engineered product that redefines what a small car platform powered by an internal combustion engine can do. And to appreciate that, you have to leave what you have learned about cars at home and get behind the wheel. 

Looks and design
First and foremost, the Nano does not look cheap. It looks like a thoroughly modern small car that could have come from Japan, South Korea or any European nation. Actually no, it couldn’t have come from anywhere but India, where the need for a small car that does not cost the moon is really felt. On closer look, lots of details grab your attention. The single large wiper blade, the three nuts that hold each wheel, beautifully crafted air-intakes on the flanks, the excellent fit and finish of body panels, quality of paint, plastic-to-metal integration and so on. And you also notice how closely related the Nano is to modern Tatas like the Indica Vista. There is a certain crispness to its design that will help it look young years down the line. If you are looking for oddball-ness, then the small tyres stand out, along with the tall stance of the car. This car dwarfs Maruti 800s and Altos and is almost as tall as a Hyundai Santro. Our road test car in yellow was the LX version, with colour coded bumpers, and attracted lots of attention as we hit the road. Where the design triumphs is in the fact that despite the Nano’s utilitarian beginnings and cost-saving development process, this mono-volume car manages to look sporty – a word that couldn’t have been in the design brief. The drooping roof line, the little spoiler and the Gallardo-inspired air intakes are responsible for this. We like rear-engined sporty looking cars, don’t we?

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  Posted by prakash at 15th December,2011
after pretty much confusions,dilemma or whatever you call it,i finally decided to have a test drive of the cute little peppy nano.. must say,the NANO 2012 is an awesome stuff in terms of looks,space,comfort on driving.. it speeds up as good as an 800 or an ALTO.. though it does not come with a power steering,the manuvering of the steering was such easy that one need not actually strain at all.. the best part is the interiors and the flashy colours available in the 2012.. for sure people are gonna keep looking when spotted on roads.. certainly worth the money.. great job done by Tata's..
  Posted by arun at 28th October,2011
Dear Friends, I own this car. In the light of my experiences, I could boldly advice you "Do not consider the negative reviews at all". We have an amazing piece of Indian Engineering here. People not even doing a test drive, are complaining about it. Frankly speaking the negative comment should have came from one who didnt even touch that wonder car yet. I did a test drive at the show room and I am going to order it. I would say that it is the best cost efficient car that money can get. People who are making baseless comments are just spreading it because they admire Russian or German Technology. Its from India, an ideal concept car released. Dont forget that. I would say " IT IS THE BEST CAR A MIDDLE CLASS FAMILY CAN GET" Think what TATA has given in nano in 1.7 lac.( LS full version) It has an engine which delivers enough power to drive through narrow indian traffic. It has an Air condition which is much powerfull compared to others in the segmant. It has power windows which is ver
  Posted by Sandeep Anand at 22nd October,2011
Great review. I am going to buy one. Sure.
  Posted by lk at 28th September,2009
fantastic article. informative and witty. kudos.
  Posted by Dr Y N Srikanth at 20th June,2009
wow wow wow.. this one real good piece of automotive journalism in a loong loong time..Bijoy has very well understood the soul of the motor he is testing and has put it across fantastically on paper.. Good article and definitely a very good car for all us common people if India
  Posted by Dr Y N Srikanth at 20th June,2009
wow wow wow.. this one real good piece of automotive journalism in a loong loong time..Bijoy has very well understood the soul of the motor he is testing and has put it across fantastically on paper.. Good article and definitely a very good car for all us common people if India
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