In the market for a new car, but only have $2690 on hand? You’re in luck, so long as you live in India. Tata Motors would love to sell you a 2012 Tata Nano, which has been refreshed and, despite looking almost identical to its predecessor, is allegedly better than before.
The world’s cheapest automobile is back for this year with some tweaks that should provide more value for the rupee. For starters, the 624cc two-cylinder engine has been tweaked to provide more power and run more efficiently. It now produces 37 horsepower and 38 pound-feet of torque, which is an increase of roughly 3 hp and 3 lb-ft, respectively. Tata says the new Nano also gets 58.8 mpg, 3.3 more than before.
The Nano keeps its super-small-car credentials, however. It’s 122 inches long, a whole 17.6 inches shorter than a Fiat 500. It does lose to the Fiat in top speed, however: the Nano reaches its limits at 65.24 mph, while the U.S.-spec Fiat’s 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine propels it to a maximum speed of 113 mph.
The Nano is available in a basic Standard model, a mid-level CX model, and a premium LX level. For 2012, all models now receive booster-assisted brakes as standard, the suspension setup has been tweaked and given a new front anti-roll bar, and Tata says a “racier sounding exhaust note” gives the car “a more assertive road presence.” There are eight new colors, ranging from Mojito Green to Neon Rush, and the upper two trim levels now have a passenger-side mirror included as standard equipment.
Prices are unchanged from last year, so standard models will start at the equivalent of $2683, while the mid-level CX model (which adds half-wheel covers, better colors, and available a/c) costs $3257. Feeling spendy? Splurge for the LX model, which comes with premium beige fabric seats, central locking, front power windows, and a rear spoiler. That will run you $3756. To put that in context, the price for that entire car is about equal to the optional Designo Matte Silver paint offered on a Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG.
The refreshed Nano is already available for sale at Tata dealers.