We don’t know if Tata has any plans to unveil a Tata Nano convertible, but we have got our hands on not one but two Nanos with the roof chopped off. The Nano ‘Spyder’ was spotted ferrying visitors at its plant in Sanand. Maybe the Spyder was a one-off model, just used to take visitors around the plant so that they can catch panoramic views. The two particular models pictured above have merely got their roof chopped off and the vehicle does seem to be running well. However, those who have observed the underbody of the Nano do know that there is something more to it than that.
Hit the jump for our detailed technical analysis.
We request you to drive the Nano over a ramp at any of Tata Motors’ Service Stations and observe its underbody as it throws light on how the Nano is made. Unlike a conventional car which has no separate frame (like in body on frame vehicles), the Nano is monocoque but not to the extent that you think it is. What Tata have done (and a genius invention at that) is sort of blend a conventional body-on-frame chassis and a monocoque construction into one. Checking the underbody, there appears to be a separate frame similar to body-on-frame vehicles but instead of the body being bolted to the chassis, it is welded making it an unibody or monocoque. It is a different kind of concept but that’s their key to success and a novel one at that as the Nano has passed European crash regulations too.
In normal monocoque vehicles, the longitudinal mebers and transverse members are belnded with the body unlike the Nano, where it appears separate.
So, its easy to do a convertible version in a body-on-frame vehicle than a monocoque as the rigidity lies in the frame and chopping off the roof will not require as much reinforcement as required in a monocoque. So will Tata make a convertible version of the Nano? We quite hope they do and pave the path for popularising convertibles in India, which so far has just one such vehicle from San Motors for around Rs 6 lakhs but a convertible Nano for Rs 2 lakhs wouldn’t hurt (even if the rear seats have to go). We hope Tata is listening.
Disclaimer – Above information is purely based on our own observations of Nano’s body.