NEW DELHI: Automobile designer Dilip Chhabria is about to turn a pumpkin into a chariot. He is waving a magic wand at the Nano. When the Nano Europa |
transformation is complete in time for Auto Expo 2010, that most plebeian of four-wheelers can be yours for the price of a hundred Nanos, or about Rs 1 crore.
Here’s how the metamorphosis will happen: Out will go the tiny 623 cc engine, to be replaced by one with a capacity of 1,600 cc. The top speed will be doubled to 200 kmph with help from a seven-speed triptronic gear box.
The refreshed exteriors of will carry gull-wing configuration doors that open towards the sky, taking it into the league of the Lamborghini and the Ferarri. The car will have biometric door handles, allowing only the owner to enter. Mr Chhabria has strapped xenon lights and LED clusters along with polycarbonate glazing to the floor for improved aerodynamics. With wider and bigger 15’’ alloy wheels (Nano has 12’’ wheels) it will graduate into the world’s smallest sports car.
Mr Chhabria said he has not frozen the concepts to be unveiled at the Auto Expo, but a person with knowledge of the development said that major work on the Nano has been completed. It carries a panoramic wind-screen and the interiors are packed with the latest gizmos, similar to those found in the Ambierod incarnation of what was once India’s most ubiquitous four-wheeler. At Auto Expo 2008, Mr Chhabria transformed the Ambassador into a three-seater coupe inspired by American Hotrods bikes.
Just like the Ambierod, the Nano will have a mobile LCD screen for movies, internet, navigation and games as well as customised instruments panel that is also beamed onto the screen. The Rs 4-crore Ambierod was sold even before the concept was unveiled in January 2008 to a Dubai-based NRI.
“Selling such cars is not a issue. The issue is how to conceptualise the design,” Mr Chhabria said. The changes have been incorporated without stretching the Nano’s size. Mr Chhabria has managed to pack luxury in the small car by converting it into a two-seater from the original five-seater. The car is meant for long drives and has a door-mounted camera for rear vision which can also record clips which the driver may otherwise miss on the move.