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The brain child of Ratan Tata, head of India’s massive conglomerate, the Nano, billed as the ‘world’s most affordable car,’ has never been far from controversy.
Nevertheless it has generated a great deal of interest around the world among the public as well as automotive designers and engineers about the concept of a truly practical car for the developing world. Now the Nano, which sells for around $2,500, has become the subject of an art exhibition stateside.
Cornell University’s Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art has put on a one-of-a-kind display which it calls ‘Unpacking the Nano – the price of the world’s most affordable car.” A bright yellow Nano is parked at the entrance to the museum, while upstairs a red one has been disassembled and various parts displayed on wire in one room, designed to appear as real life renderings of exploded shop diagrams or instruction manuals, with each of them broken down into price and weight in a social and cultural context.
Some components, such as the wiring harness are mounted on wood, symbolizing the 16 crates into which the whole exhibition can be packed.
The ideal of having a Nano display at Cornell isn’t as tenuous as you might think; Ratan Tata attended the university’s school of architecture. The exhibition runs until March 27th and like the car itself, is likely to generate plenty of controversy.
Indian automaker Tata has confirmed that it will bring the Nano to the U.S. in the next three years. The Nano, launched officially several months ago in India, holds the title of being the world’s cheapest car with base models priced at just $2,000.
David Good, a U.S. representative for the Indian automaker, which also owns Jaguar and Land Rover, confirmed statements made by company CEO Ratan Tata at Cornell University earlier this week.
“It might be two years and six months,” Good said in an interview with Automotive News.
Powered by a 624cc 2-cylinder engine that makes just 35hp, the Nano comes with a 4-speed gearbox with full power available at 5250 rpm and full torque (35 ft-lbs) on tap at 3000 rpm. Tata claims an average fuel-economy rating of 55.5 mpg according to the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), giving it the highest rating of any gasoline car in India.
The Nano is also tiny, measuring just 10.2-feet long, by 4.9-feet wide and 5.3-feet high.
The Nano “will meet all emissions and crash standards,” Tata said. The current model for India features a reinforced passenger compartment, crumple zones, intrusion resistant doors, as well as the mandatory seat belts.
Tata also plans to bring a version of the Nano to Europe in 2011.
[Source: Automotive News]