Tata Nano likely to get automatic transmission | Car News | Entry-level hatchbacks | Autocar India
The Nano may not have gone on to become the big seller Tata Motors intended it to be, but the manufacturer still has big plans for its budget hatchback. Speaking to our sister publication Autocar Professional at the launch drive of the power steering-equipped Nano Twist, Girish Wagh, senior vice president Programme Planning and Project Management (PVBU) Tata Motors, has confirmed the car maker is evaluating various technologies, including auto transmissions, to strengthen the Nano’s positioning as a city car. A CVT or a more cost-effective automated manual transmission (AMT) are likely options for such a ‘clutchless’ Nano of the future. Tata has been working on automatic transmissions for some time now and had even displayed an Aria with a six-speed auto at the Geneva Motor Show in 2013.
Tata Motors had made clear its intention to add desirability to the Nano as part of its Horizonext initiative last year. An automatic transmission and power steering-equipped Nano could be the just the version for the job. Not only would the automatic gearbox make the Nano Twist even more of a breeze to drive in city traffic, but it could also bring a whole lot of first-time car buyers into Tata showrooms looking for an easy-to-drive small car. This could also boost Tata Motors’ repositioning of the Nano as a modern city car rather than a budget car. But Tata Motors will have to act fast because competitors have woken up to the huge potential of automatics in our steadily degrading traffic and are working on their own clutchless cars; Maruti is reportedly working on an automated manual transmission version of its upcoming Celerio hatchback. If anything, the clock is ticking for Tata Motors.