One is used to thinking of Tata Motors' Nano as the world's cheapest car, priced at a little over Rs1 lakh – most people would hardly dream that it could cost as much Rs1 crore, a price usually associated with top-end imported luxury cars. But that is how much the DC Design version of the Nano would cost.
On Wednesday, Dilip Chhabria's auto design firm DC Design announced that it would unveil a redesigned version of the Nano sporting a crore-rupee price tag in the next month and a half.
Set up in September last year by Chhabria and his partner Jagdish Khattar – former chief executive of Maruti Suzuki and now head of Carnation Auto, the multi-brand car sales and services outfit – DC Design specialises in high-end customisation of existing car models.
''Our hallmark is high-technology products. This car will also have several high-tech features. We would have liked to keep the cost low. But with the technology and the amount of work we put in to the car, the Rs1-crore price tag would be justified,'' said Chhabaria. "There will be a lot of tech wizardry in it, plenty of IT-enabled equipment."
The output will be dictated by market demand. ''I don't think there will be a lot of demand for a Rs1-crore Nano. We took this project up as a case to showcase India in the global automotive design market,'' he said.
While Chhabaria did not disclose the investment made on the super-expensive Nano, he said that 90 per cent of the crore-rupee price has been pumped into re-tooling the car. ''We didn't display the car at the Auto Expo because the work hasn't been completed yet. However, there is a lot of speculation and eagerness among the media to see the car,'' he said.