The Tata Magic Iris is transforming into a compact taxi that's much cheaper to run and highly user-friendly.
Don't agree? Check the recent spyshot we've received from Pune of an upcoming variant that reveals two important introductions - doors are fitted to both sides (currently on the market with one rear door) as well as CNG technology exposed by the pre-production model's body decal.
We've also recently shown you another variant that uses glass (or fiber glass) on the windows instead of plastic curtains. The Iris CNG project is Tata's Nano for the commercial segment.
The Magic Iris is powered by a 611 cc, water cooled diesel engine producing 11 HP power and 31 Nm torque. It was launched in BSIII specification in May last year at Rs 1.95 lakh, ex-showroom Thane (without octroi).
Tata Motors is expected to bring out these changes as the Bajaj RE60 (that was recently spotted on the back of a truck) is preparing to come out all guns blazing this financial year. The RE60 is the direct rival to the Magic Iris, but with Tata constantly improving its contender the company stands to gain more attention from its would-be customers.
The availability of the diesel engine (remember the RE60 is a petrol) as well as the introduction of CNG could tempt autorickshaw operators to upgrade to the Iris. The Iris is (debatable) better looking and as it has been on the market for a bit longer, Tata knows a thing or two about this class of buyer.
There is no information about the vehicle's launch date, but seeing these production-ready prototypes testing, that day may not be very far away!