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Tata Nano: New York Times test drives India's new $2,000 'People's Car'

Tata Nano: New York Times test drives India's new $2,000 'People's Car' 1The New York Times’ automotive section is entitled “Wheels — The Nuts and Bolts of Whatever Moves You.’ Technology to car shows, innovation to car reviews, the section is arguably the country’s finest. Earlier this week, for instance, many print and online sections reported on the debut in India of the Tata Nano, the world’s cheapest car.

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The Times had its reporter, Nick Kurczewski, in Pune, India, to test drive the Nano.

It’s the estimated $2,000 car some industry experts believe could be as important to the automotive industry as the Ford Model-T and the Volkswagen Beetle.

“The Nano has a 32-horsepower, 624-cc, 2-cylinder engine mounted in the rear. Access is given to the engine via a removable panel underneath the foldable rear seat. Despite being a fraction of the size of most economy-car engines, the all-aluminum engine provides reasonable pep. Engine noise is also far less than one might imagine given the size and simplicity of the Nano.

Tata Nano: New York Times test drives India's new $2,000 'People's Car' 2

“Acceleration is hardly neck-snapping. An informal timed run from zero to 50 miles an hour took 16.4 seconds; a Tata engineer said the company’s testing time is about one second faster.”

“The steering lacks power assistance but directs the car nicely. The turning circle of the Nano is undoubtedly one of its best parlor tricks: With a turning radius of only four meters, the Nano is nearly capable of doing a 360-degree turn in its own tiny shadow. Three models are available in India: the base, midlevel CX and the LX. With taxes and fees, the base runs about $2,200; the fully equipped LX is $3,360.”

Kurczewski’s review is relevant, astute and a fascinating critique of the revolutionary new car.

To read the entire review, visit: Tata Nano/New York Times

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