Industrial designer Vishal Verma who graduated from the National Institute of Design has reimagined the Tata Nano for the 2020s. Verma, who grew up around his father’s garage, feels electrification, connectivity and automated driving are trends that the Indian automotive industry cannot afford to miss this decade.
What sparked the idea of a connected & electric Nano:
I wanted to be a car designer because my father owns a garage. The first car I sketched before starting my journey as a car designer or as an industrial designer was the Tata Nano. From then I decided that this is what I want to do in the future. I joined Industrial Design because I found out that I need to know what design is, how design is applied to a product. For my final project, I wanted to do automobile design and I haven’t worked on any automobile designs during any of my semesters. So for my final graduation project, I worked with Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles, Indore on a vehicle project. I worked on the project for seven months where I learned about the technology and technical parts like rendering, proportions etc. I implement my learning to my new designs like the engine placement and different chassis designs.
The Nano is a very spacious car for its size, because of the engine placement and shape of the body shell. Including that design and using the present technology like skateboard chassis for the electric powertrain, I replaced the scoops on the sides with a grille to let air flow for cooling the batteries and replaced the halogen headlamps with LED units for efficient power consumption.
Design of iNano EV:
The Nano’s silhouette remains the same and I have tried to maintain the body lines as well. I have tried to keep the spirit of the Nano alive. So this design is something that could be the next step of the Nano. If you convert a Nano into an electric vehicle, people can recognize the design and can think that this is something they can afford. It’s a more contemporary than a futuristic design.
In this car, the chassis is not very big and the wheels are quite small. This is a city commuter and so it will either be a rear-wheel-drive or a front-wheel-drive and can work very efficiently using less power and more range. My idea is to put electric motors at the rear. My idea for this Nano is not putting too many features, which will confuse the buyer and drive up cost. I’m going for a minimalistic approach and the interiors are more interactive. The Nano Electric will support rapid charging.
Features of the iNano EV:
- Mounted on a skateboard chassis; RWD vehicle powered by individual motors on rear wheels.
- LED headlamps, LED tail lamps and fog lamps
- Panoramic mono glass windshield
- 2-door, luggage space in the front
- Fast charging support; the charging port next to the right front wheel
- Air vents on the side skirts to cool down batteries
- 5G connectivity, voice control, digital cluster panel, touchscreen navigation, deck charging, mood lighting
- Autonomous driving; 360 deg rotating seat and collapsible steering wheel