Tata Motors had launched the Nano in 2009 with great expectations. The car didn’t perform well and there are many reasons for that such as no power steering, no creature comforts, cheap-car image, etc. Since the Tata Nano is designed as a very compact and easy-to-drive city runabout, it is quite contrary that it doesn’t come with a power steering because the heavy non-power steering is one of the biggest downsides of the Nano and this has been a deal-breaker for many buyers.
Here is some good news for all those who are planning to discard the Nano from their car-buying list and considering the relatively pricier Maruti Alto 800 or Hyundai Eon only for the power steering option. Tata has finally heard all of us and it is going to launch a power-steering version of the Nano on 13th January 2014. This version of the Nano will be called Nano Twist and it will have an electric power steering unit from ZF. This feature will surely make the steering wheel feel much lighter especially at low speeds.
Tata Motors has put in an “Active Return” feature with its power steering unit along with a brushless motor. This electric power steering would be speed sensitive and this should considerably improve the ease of driving. Tata Motors will also incorporate a new instrument cluster with LEDs for the fuel and temperature indicators in the Nano Twist. The Nano is powered by a 624cc petrol engine that cranks out 38 PS of power and 51 Nm of torque which is sufficient for a vehicle of this size and weight. Tata also launched the Nano emax recently which has a company-fitted CNG kit for those who want to save on their fuel bills.
Currently, the Tata Nano is priced between Rs. 1.60-2.77 lakhs (ex-showroom, Mumbai) and the Twist variants will be available for an additional Rs. 14,000/-. We feel Tata Motors has made a great move by adding a power steering unit to the Nano which should help generate more sales of this tiny little car. The Nano sells 2000-odd units a month while its closest competitor, the Maruti Alto sells more than ten times! The Indian automaker should also consider launching a premium version of the Nano which could have newer features like steering-mounted audio controls, electric-powered mirrors, etc as such type of features appeal a lot to young buyers.
Source – Autocar