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Overnight, the Indian conglomerate unveiled the facelifted and upgraded Tata Nano Gen X hatchback.

Externally, the updated Nano sports revised headlight innards, a new black highlight running along the bottom edge of the bonnet and a redesigned front and rear bumpers with a smiley face motif.

With the Gen X update, the Nano is now available with an automated transmission for the first time. The five-speed Easy Shift automated manual transmission is available on higher-spec models. A four-speed manual is still standard on cheaper models.

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The automated transmission comes equipped with a creeping feature at low speeds, but reduces the car’s boot space from 110 litres to 94. On the upside, the Nano’s trunk can now be accessed via an opening rear hatch — in earlier versions, the rear cargo space could only be reached from inside the car.

Powering the Nano is a fuel-injected 624cc two-cylinder engine that’s still rated at 28kW of power and 51Nm of torque. The car’s fuel tank has been increased to 24 litres to improve driving range. Fuel economy is rated at 4.2L/100km for the manual and 4.6L/100km for the automated transmission.

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The Nano’s audio system can be specified with Bluetooth, a CD slot, and USB and auxiliary jacks. Features available include air conditioning, power front windows, remote central locking, a digital display in the instrument panel, reverse parking sensors, artificial leather seats and remote hatch release.

To deal with India’s notoriously rough roads, the Nano has a ground clearance of 180mm. The top-of-the-range XTA model pictured here rides on 135/70 tyres with 12-inch wheels.

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Sales of the Nano Gen X begin today across India, with prices starting at 199,000 rupees ($3800) for an XE manual and stretching all the way up to 289,000 rupees ($5600) for the XTA automatic.

The original Tata Nano was the brainchild of Ratan Tata, then Tata’s chairman, who wanted the company to build a cheap car for around 100,000 rupees ($1925) to help convince Indians to upgrade from their motorcycles and three-wheeled Bajaj runabouts.

Fires in some early models, bungled public relations and the negative perceptions about the Nano’s price have all, so far, contributed to the car’s slow sales.




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