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The art of jazzing up the people’s car

entertainment Updated: Mar 20, 2010 22:17 IST
Aasheesh Sharma

Fancy a customised Nano? Car designer Dilip Chhabria and Carnation Auto have joined heads to offer you one. For a cool Rs 80,000, Chhabria has evolved a sportier version of the Nano and anointed it the Hot Nano.

Marketed by former Maruti honcho Jagdish Khattar’s Carnation Auto, it will reach the market in May. “We plan to do 50 or 100 per month once the production is stabilised,” Chhabria told Hindustan Times. The silhouette of the Nano lends itself to a makeover. “Its clean, mono-volume shape means you can do much more with the Nano than you can for cars priced much higher,” says Chhabria.

The price point was a USP even for the designer who loves styling Lamborghinis and SUVs for Bollywood stars “It opened up a unique business model for us. Before the Nano, a youngster aspiring for a set of four wheels, had to budget for Rs 5 lakh as the base price and then indulge in customising it. With the Nano priced much lower, the person can use the difference to jazz up a car,” he says.

The first neon-blue and black prototype looks sleek. To enhance the looks, DC Design has added some sporting touches to the exteriors. “There is a whole new front and rear facia, with aesthetically done bumpers and fog lamps. Plus, there are locker panel claddings on the side,” says DC, as the designer is known in motoring circles.

Sexing up the ‘people’s car’, making it enticing to youngsters, while retaining its core DNA, was challenging, admits Chhabria.

He managed it through the use of wider tyres, creating a pumped up boy surface and adding bulk. “Now, the Nano exudes aggression,” claims DC.

Chhabria is now contemplating the creation of a pimped -up Nano priced at a crore. “It will be a technology car, a marvel of Indian design and technological capabilities. Creating a technology car involves high cost, but the features would justify it,” he promises.

Sample few additions that will take the price to Rs 1 crore: Doors with polycarbonate glazing — that are transparent — maximised to floor level to see the road go by. A door-mounted camera for rear vision. A large PC screen. And changing interior colours and texture through electrical conductors. And many more additions.