When Tata Motors launched the Nano in 2009, the expectations from this ultra low-cost hatchback were through the roof. But soon the initial enthusiasm died out and the Nano’s sales chart nose-dived. Considering the investment in the Nano project was close to Rs 2,000 crore, Tata Motors was not going to fold its hands and watch the Nano fail.
Over the years, Tata Motors has tried every trick in the book to pump some life into the Nano dream. Be it introducing new features, minor facelifts, rural sales, exciting finance schemes; you name it and Tata Motors has done it. In the midst of dwindling sales, Tata Motors was even ready to look at the Tata Nano as a platform and not just a product.
Tata Motors was ready to develop multiple body styles to cater to a diverse target market with the Nano platform. We saw a roofless version of the Tata Nano testing at Tata’s Sanand factory. We saw the design study Pixel – an uber-luxurious version of the Nano for the developed markets. We also saw some other offshoots such as MegaPixel and Tata Nano EV.
Sadly, none of these body-styles ever made it to production. But that hasn’t stopped rendering artists across the globe from dreaming. A very talented artist from the UK named Matthew Swann has presented some exquisite renderings of two interesting body-styles – Tata Nano Speedster & Tata Nano City Van.
Tata Nano Speedster –
Matthew’s vision of a two seater sports car based on the Nano platform is by far the most imaginative design study I have ever seen.
While, it is easy to see that the Tata Nano Speedster’s design has a hint of Nissan Leaf’s front fascia blended into a Peugeot RCZ body, there is no doubt that it looks phenomenal!
Matthew envisions the Nano Speedster as a two seater roadster with soft-top folding roof. A soft top makes a lot of sense because the Tata Nano is rear-engined car which means there is hardly any space for a metal folding roof set up at the rear.
Of course, we are not expecting a rear engined, Porsche 911 rival from Tata Motors any time soon. But we surely hope Tata’s designers are paying keen attention to this design study.
Tata Nano City Van
Tata Motors always wanted to exploit the Nano’s platform for commercial purposes. There were rumors that Tata Motors was developing a pick-up truck named Penguin on the Nano’s platform. But when the production version of the Penguin (Ace Zip) hit the market, it turned out to be a closer relative of the Tata Ace than of the Nano.
Mathew has envisioned Nissan-Evalia-style city van based on the Nano platform. Lack of a rear window means that Mathew wants the Tata Nano City van to be used only for commercial purposes.
A small van based on the Tata Nano platform might hold immense potential for small specialty shops such bakeries, flower shops, pizzerias, restaurants, etc. Considering most of these shops are generally located in the heart of city and deliver their items within a 10 km radius, a small and economical van is perfect for them.
While the Nano Speedster has limited commercial viability, the Tata Nano city van is an idea that Tata Motors could toy with.
[Rendering courtesy: Matthew Swann]