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Owner's Guide to the World's Cheapest Car

February 1st, 2008, 08:19 PM
I read this in MacLean's Magazine and had the biggest hoot over it. I am a car girl, one of my favourite shows is Top Gear from Britain, maybe that's why I got such a kick from this.

Brakes don’t work? When you press your feet to the road, really dig in those heels.
Scott Feschuk | Jan 22, 2008 | 9:50 am EST

News item: India's Tata Motors has unveiled the world's cheapest car--the Nano, a subcompact that costs only $2,500 and will, according to some analysts, "revolutionize" the automobile industry.

Congratulations on your purchase of a Tata Nano! By taking your place behind the wheel of "the People's Car," you join thousands of others who are thrilled to have finally found an automobile that blends the aerodynamic efficiency of a gum drop with the power and performance of a golf cart. Please read this owner's manual to ensure you get the most out of your new Nano.

Engine: The Nano delivers 33 horsepower. On one hand, this is up to 100 horsepower less than many small cars. But on the other, it is 32 horsepower more than a horse! Your move, Trigger.

Acceleration: According to road tests, the Nano goes from zero to 60 miles per hour in... theory. (Sanjay had her pushing 52 as of Wednesday, and reckons he'll hit 58 by this manual's second printing.) We know for a fact, however, that the Nano is capable of achieving an impressive top speed of 77 miles per hour.*

*when pushed off a very high cliff.

Seating: Your new Tata Nano seats five! If comfort is desired, then the Nano seats four. If breathing is desired, then three, max. If the preservation of social status is desired then it doesn't matter how many people it seats because no one will ever get into this car with you.

Air Bags: There are no air bags.

Radio: There is no radio.

Air Conditioning: Ha ha! You're funny!

Amenities: All Nanos come standard with steering wheel and opening and closing doors. Your Nano also has one windshield wiper. This cuts down on "maintenance costs" because you only have to replace a single wiper blade! Note: it also cuts down on "seeing things."

Roadside Assistance: Tata Motors does not offer roadside assistance for the Nano. However, the Nano can be easily transported to a nearby service station inside most fanny packs.

Structure: Part of what makes your Nano so affordable is that costly materials such as steel have been replaced with lighter alternatives such as plastic and papier mâché and the power of prayer. But don't worry! Your Nano is built to endure every bodily impact up to and including a heavy drizzle.

Troubleshooting Your Tata Nano

Problem: Strange noises.
Solution: Turn off vehicle. Remove key. If noises persist, roll up window. Sound of laughter and heckling from passersby should be slightly diminished.

Problem: Car doesn't start.
Solution: Lift the hood. Give the hamster a poke. Instruct him to get back on the wheel and start running. Use scolding tone and make threatening gesture (if necessary).

Problem: Brakes don't seem to be working that well.
Solution: When you press your feet to the road, try to really dig in those heels. Scientific research suggests that a plume of smoke should be emitted from the feet under typical braking. (Source: The Flintstones)

Problem: Uncertain to what extent Bruce Springsteen's songs would have been different if he drove a Nano while growing up.
Solution: Thunder Road would go something like this...
"Whoa ho, come take my hand
We're riding out tonight to case the promised land…
You're not in a hurry, are you baby?
Stop complaining--the promised land ain't going anywhere, all right? Jesus.
I am stepping on the gas.
Fine. Get out and walk.
You're walking pretty fast, Mary, but I'm bound to catch you when I get going downhill..."
Also, Drive All Night wouldn't be a love song--it would be a chronicle of his trip to the corner store.

Problem: You step on the gas pedal but hardly anything happens.
Solution: Spend more than $2,500 on a car, cheap-ass.

Thanks again for purchasing a Tata Nano. And remember: the Nano was designed with family in mind--your family! So let them drive it. You take the bus--much safer and less socially ostracizing.

February 1st, 2008, 09:21 PM
Ha ha, looks kinda like the smart car.

I heard about this car. I guess they want everybody in India driving one. The article I read was saying that people are complaining that India is developing cars and it will only add to atmosperic pollution, but the counter argument was that that view is so hypocritical, why should we in the developing world only have the priveledge of driving cars?

I think we should all buy the nano.

February 1st, 2008, 09:35 PM
The two door really looks like the Smart Car. I don't this one is electric though.

February 1st, 2008, 10:13 PM
you know whats really bad?? you all talk about the Smart Car like you actually know what it is, see them on a fairly regular basis.... and 99% of all americans have no idea what it is. it will be on the market here by the end of Feb but most americans have no clue what it is. :frustrated:


February 1st, 2008, 10:20 PM
Seriously? They're everywhere here! I see at least two a day... there's one in my parking garage. We have a lovely lime green one that runs around town all the time. Funny little things.

February 1st, 2008, 11:42 PM
Smart Cars aren't a rare site at all here. Hundreds of them in use. I'm sure if I noticed I'd see 2 dozen different ones a day or more.

February 2nd, 2008, 12:27 AM
I've even seen them in our little town but only from visitors we've talked to....but they did live in B.C. I think Canada has embraced this concept alot better than our neighbours south of the border.

From talking to the owners, these cars are only good for short distance travelling. I think it will be awhile before they catch on here. :shrug:

February 2nd, 2008, 10:15 AM
Oh yeah, I can't go a day without seeing 4 or 5 of them. But then again I live in and around Toronto. But I've seen them in my hometown of 30 000 people as well. I'd get one if i had a short commute. They're freaky to see on the highway going 100km/h, they look dangerous.

February 2nd, 2008, 10:24 AM
I love "Top Gear" too !! So many nice cars, and the guys are fun too.

The Smart is all over the place in Europe and there are a few here in Montreal as well. I wouldn't feel safe in one though, not the way they are used on the highways! It was meant as a city car, a short-commute on streets and "normal" roads, not highway driving! The worst thing is though ... it's useless for shopping! No back seat, no trunk, where do you put the second grocery-bag? No better than a motorized hand-bag!

IMO, better get a larger, electric car. My next one will be a hybrid - if they can get the prices down to an environmentally friendly level that is.

February 2nd, 2008, 12:13 PM
I love "Top Gear" too !! So many nice cars, and the guys are fun too.

:thumbs up I didn't think that too many Canuks even knew about Top Gear!!! I love the guys, I have a major crush on Hammond and was incredibly sad when he got in that accident, I'm so glad that he's okay. Did you know that he has a daughter named Willow? How cool is that, she's about the same age as my Willow too, not sure who copied who. Love all the teasing and stuff on that show, they all have such good chemistry. The best part of the show though is the camera work, it's absolutely beautiful.

February 3rd, 2008, 10:08 AM
I haven't watched it since I left Norway though :sad: but I used to catch every episode on Saturday morning before anyone got up! Nice and quiet and no stupid comments from my ex about what a jerk that one looked like and what a total idiot that one must be because his eyes, nose, mouth whatever had a certain shape ... Not sure which channel it was on ... Discovery? I'm sure I could find it again, and Lewis might even like it so I'd have someone to watch it with :thumbs up

Didn't know he had an accident ... serious? Job-related or private?

February 3rd, 2008, 07:05 PM
It shows on BBCC which is channel 87 here.

Richard's accident was work related. He was breaking the land speed record when the car popped a tire and flipped over. I think that he was in the 400's (kn/hr) when it happened. He has severe head injuries and they didn't think he would survive. This happened in September 2006 and by January 2007 he was back to work and the same Hamster we all know and love. They aired the video on the show once and then promised never to speak of it again. The ongoing joke now is that he uses tooth whiteners and the other two even go so far as to plant the strips in the cars he drives.

I have not seen the video for it, just pictures.

You can see the tire popping in the first picture.

February 3rd, 2008, 07:22 PM
Here's the full video... with commentary, it's the part they showed on his first show back. It's almost like he predicted it happening, things he said while getting in the car like when the guy's putting the arm restraints on him and says that they are so that if the car flips his arms won't fly up and be severed, Richard actually says "but I don't want to go upside down". :o

And there's a part two which is actually quite commical and shows the chemistry between the guys (it shows a little of part one over again).

Yes, I'm jacking my own thread.

February 6th, 2008, 07:33 AM
Oh yeah, I can't go a day without seeing 4 or 5 of them. But then again I live in and around Toronto. But I've seen them in my hometown of 30 000 people as well. I'd get one if i had a short commute. They're freaky to see on the highway going 100km/h, they look dangerous.

I love those cars.

We have one that passes us on the 401 during our commute home doing about 120KM/H regularily. Wouldn't want to get into an accident with those.