Tata Nano diesel project faces further delays?

Posted on: Sep 24, 2012 - 3:50pm IST

The Tata Nano’s ‘world’s cheapest car’ tag worked really well in creating an air of curiosity among the laymen and the people in auto industry alike.

Tata Nano Europa

Contrary to the initial hype, the Nano didn’t really take off with the expected magnanimity and that’s because the very same tag which earned Nano its attention became its enemy when viewed from an owner’s context.

The initial lot of cars was full of niggling and quality issues which were sorted out to some extent in the 2012 model, but still the noisy engine and petrol prices are causes for the little Tata’s concern.

Tata has planned to bring the diesel version of Nano by the last quarter of this year with a hope of unlocking the unrealized potential of Mr. Ratan Tata’s dream project, but the industry sources have told Top Gear India magazine that the oil-burning Nano is not due until the end of 2013.

Video – Tata Nano diesel testing in Pune

[can’t see the video above? Head over to the Youtube page to view it]

The primary reason for the delay is said to be the engineers’ struggle to squeeze the benchmarked fuel economy figure of 30kmpl out of the 800 cc two cylinder engine.

See images of the Tata Nano diesel testing in Pune

The NVH level of the two cylinder diesel engine is high and adding more sound deadening material is the easy way to go, but it adds cost and weight. So, the engineers not only had to work on fuel economy but also on the refinement which is a technical challenge.

Tata wants the Nano diesel to carry none of its petrol sibling’s shortcomings and is looking to steer the small car away from the ‘cheap car’ image and that means there is whole lot of improvements to be done under the skin.

The road ahead for the Tata engineers till they successfully bring the diesel Nano out is not appearing to be smooth and the government’s new found enthusiasm in matching the diesel price with that of petrol is not going to help them either. Better hurry up Tata!

[Source: Topgear.com; Image – Tata Nano Europa at Geneva 2009]

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9 thoughts on “Tata Nano diesel project faces further delays?

  1. […] variant of the Nano was originally set for a late 2012 launch but the Tata engineers are reportedly facing technical challenges which will delay the launch by around a year but the company assured that the plans for CNG and […]

  2. Bhargava Chandra says:

    Shocked to see Mr. Nithyanandh K saying: “The initial lot of cars was full of niggling and quality issues which were sorted out to some extent in the 2012 model”

    The only reason Tata Motors replaced the wiring harness and starter motor on Initial Nanos was connected to the fire hazard safety.

    Just tell me ONE such “full of niggling and quality issues”……. they never replaced anything except for the fire hazard safety replacements.

    “issues which were sorted out to SOME EXTENT in the 2012 model”….. please tell me those issues which were not resolved in 2012 model… and I will communicate with Tata Motors about those issues….. Just wondering what are those issues which were sorted out to “SOME EXTENT”?!?!

    For Your Information – All the cosmetic and technical changes in the Nano 2012 model were “UPGRADES” NOT “FIXES”…. they have just improved the VFM factor which was unfortunately perceived as “FIXING NIGGLING ISSUES” by some Indians…..

    1. Bhargava, there were many problems reported with the car’s hazard switch, electricals in the steering column that caused smoke in at least one case, starter motor problems, and safety tools were installed as a safety precaution at the rear of the car to make it “more robust.” There were niggles on the initial lot of Nanos, there’s no doubt about that.

      1. Bhargava Chandra says:

        Oh….I’m Sorry, I never knew about problems with the hazard light switch and electricals in the steering column.

        Thanks for the heads up, Shrawan! 🙂

  3. Sridhar says:

    Diesel engines already known for high NVH levels; to get a right balance between high fuel economy and low NVH would be an engineering feat. wishing them the best.

  4. Karuppaswamy.R says:

    May be Tatas dream about Nano true and reasoanable,the government won’t allow their dream come true.As you said they will level the prices before the Nano Team develop the HSD Power train and prove they are nothing short to corporate governance

  5. Mohammed says:

    Just routine R&D challenges. The Nano is a revolutionary product and serves the nation’s needs just right. Hope it gets the required backing from the media and public alike.

  6. Prashant says:

    I think these challenges are not new for the Nano team…

    Hope the product will come soon in the market & revive the fortune for the TaTa Motors..

    Good Luck team..


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About the Author
Nithyanandh K

As a toddler, those wheeled machinery fascinated me even before I knew what they’re called as! So here I'm, petrolhead by birth, Mechanical engineer by qualification and automotive reporter by profession!