By Ronan Glon
Monday, Dec 31st, 2012 @ 6:02 am
 
India's Tata is preparing to launch a more powerful version of the pint-sized Nano, a new report indicates. The move is an attempt to combat disappointing sales figures by drawing new clients into showrooms.
The more powerful Nano will utilize a two-cylinder engine with a displacement of roughly 800 cubic centimeters, a figure which marks an increase of 22 percent over the Nano's current engine. Performance specifications are not known but the new engine should give the hatchback a considerable acceleration boost.

The nudge in power will be almost certainly accompanied by a nudge in price, and the 800cc Nano will compete against the Hyundai Eon and the Maruti-Suzuki Alto, two of India's most popular cars.

Tata hopes that positioning the Nano a notch higher on the market will rejuvenate what has long been billed as India's people's car.

"The Nano is getting close to four years old and we have to do something to refresh it," said a Tata spokesman at a conference last week.

The imminent arrival of the 800cc Nano doesn't spell the end of the less expensive variant, which is powered by a 624cc two-cylinder mill. The entry-level model will soldier on as the planet's cheapest new car until a much-awaited competitor built by Renault-Nissan arrives in two or three years.