Tata Beyond the Nano

Nowadays, when you hear the word “Tata Motors,” you probably think of the cute Indian-market Nano diminutive-class car.

Nowadays, when you hear the word “Tata Motors,” you probably think of the cute Indian-market Nano diminutive-class car.

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But there is a whole lot more to it. Like Tata’s ownership of Jaguar and Land Rover.

What’s also interesting is that the manufacturer, India’s largest automobile company, which had consolidated revenues of $27-billion in 2010, makes a whole lot more than pocket-sized vehicles.

For example, it has just rolled out with the Tata LPT 3723, which it claims is India’s first five-axle rigid truck. It has a capacity of 27.55 tons. If we estimate that a Nano weighs about 1,400 lb., you could carry about 39 of them (by mass). It features a Cummins 6BT 5.9-liter engine and a nine-speed transmission. It is said to be useful for transporting things like cement and steel, which is certainly important in a place where building is occurring with some rapidity.

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And it isn’t all small cars or trucks with diesels, either. AT the New Delhi Auto Expo 2012 the company rolled out its Starbus Fuel Cell Concept, which it developed with Indian government’s Department and Industrial Research under the Technology Development & Demonstration Programme.

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This bus, which uses compressed hydrogen, features a motor that provides peak power output of 250 hp. It has a top speed of 43.5 mph, which may not seem like much, but as it is designed for city traffic, it is undoubtedly more than sufficient.

Just small cars? Not by a long shot.