Industrial designer Vishal Verma’s ‘Tata iNano EV’ concept employs a skateboard chassis with twin hub-mounted motors at the rear
It was in 2008 that Tata Motors launched the Nano compact city car (technically not a hatchback since it has only four doors). Regarded as the ‘most affordable car in the world’, the Tata Nano was initially planned to have a price tag of Rs 1 lakh ex-showroom. However, except for a few initial units, the company had to increase its pricing to over Rs 2 lakh to meet rising input costs.
The Tata Nano really made sense in densely populated roads and was certainly an honest effort which received worldwide attention (even popular television host Jay Leno has one in his insane car collection). As the charm of being the most affordable production car became weaker and sales plummeted, Tata Motors discontinued the Nano project in 2018.
Though the car would never make a return in the foreseeable future, an EV version of it would be an interesting twist. Dubbed the ‘Tata iNano EV’ concept, Industrial designer Vishal Verma (Instagram @vishal8402) has reimagined the car in a similar approach. Electric vehicles occupy only a minor space in our market yet key players are investing a lot in the field.
Despite being a budget car on paper, the Tata Nano was an engineering masterpiece. The rear-engine rear-wheel-drive architecture may be a topic for memers to ridicule it as a ‘pocket-friendly Porsche 911’, but the car still remains one of the best examples of vehicle packaging. In fact, its interiors are way more spacious compared to vehicles much bigger in size. And no, this was not achieved by just cutting down equipment.
Keeping these highlights in mind, Vishal designed the two-door iNano EV on a skateboard chassis housing two hub-mounted rear motors. It follows nearly the original silhouette and character lines. The stock side intakes were replaced by grilles on either rocker panel for cooling the floor-mounted battery pack. To save energy, the entire lighting system was upgraded to efficient LED units.
Vishal wishes to keep features in check to avoid driving up the cost. Even so, primarily highlights include panoramic mono glass windshield, front luggage compartment, fast charging support, advanced connectivity options and most importantly, autonomous driving. Interior aesthetics follow minimalism yet feature a large touchscreen system, swivelling front seats and ambient illumination even on the floor.
Being a familiar design expressing a sense of affordability, the Tata Nano would be a perfect entry to affordable electric vehicles in the country. Of course, the features mentioned above may not be feasible in the current scenario, but an all-electric Nano would be something Tata Motors should think about in the future if the team can reimagine a Sierra in such a fashion.