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Old 6th June 2013, 04:33   #1
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Default Tata Nano - Coupe & Trailer by K.Mahesh

Tata Nano - Coupe & Trailer by K.Mahesh

About K.Mahesh :

Chairman and Managing Director of Sundaram Brake Linings Ltd., the Rs.276-crore TVS group company.

He built a go-kart when he was all of 17-year-old as a student of IIT Madras. Now 70, an age where most people look forward to a quiet life, K. Mahesh is busy knocking down car chassis and re-engineering them. That is, when he’s not busy in a board meeting of Sundaram Brake Linings Ltd.


Coupe Mod :

Mr. Mahesh’s latest baby is the MAK 5 concept, a coupe version of the Tata Nano — a car that he greatly admires. He has completely re-engineered the Nano to a two-seater with a small boot in the rear, in the process making the car look even cuter than the original.

“I’ve always wanted a coupe but couldn’t think of spending Rs.30 lakh for a model such as the BMW Mini Coupe. A car is an extension of your personality and I wanted one that would respond to me,” says Mr. Mahesh. He spent about Rs.1.5 lakh to redo the Nano, converting the car from monocoque to a box-chassis; the work was done in seven months with the help of a local mechanic in his small workshop. The MAK 5 is about 19 per cent shorter in length compared to the original Nano but its performance in terms of mileage, acceleration and air-conditioning is the same. The weight of the car is the same as the original, but the brake is softer. The car handled well during a test drive by 'The Hindu' but the engine noise was harsh. Mr. Mahesh says this is because the engine, which is in the rear, is closer to the driver now and the insulation is not the same as in the original.

Mr. Mahesh feels that Tata Motors can produce a coupe version with bells and whistles and aim it at the younger generation. “The younger generation wants something new. This car is driveable and we can even fit a baby seat in the back so that a small family can use it till the second baby arrives,” he says, pointing out that the MAK 5 is proof that it is possible.

Mr. Mahesh is recovering from a major ailment now but his enthusiasm has not dulled. He’s already on to his next project — MAK 6 — a two-seater quadricycle that he’s building out of a knocked down chassis of an autorickshaw.


Trailer Mod :

To the Nano he has attached a small trailer that is the size of two suitcases and can carry up to 200 kg. He engineered the redesign himself and built the trailer and the carrier with help from his own and another TVS group company. The required parts were largely sourced from within the country while the trailer was shaped out of the scrapped chassis of a Maruti-800.

The cost of the trailer, all included, was Rs 80,000.

Has he tested it on the roads? “Yes”, he says. I have driven it from Chennai to Kodaikanal, a distance of about 500 km, several times. "The car was rock-steady at 95 kmph, and with a rear-facing video camera, overtaking was also easy.” The only point is that there is a time lag for the trailer's hydraulic brake to act. But Mr Mahesh says this will be improved in the next iteration of the trailer.

And the engineer from IIT-Madras warns: “I'm not finished with the Nano yet. I've asked Tata Motors for an ECU (electronic control unit) for the engine. With a souped-up engine, I plan to redesign the trailer.”


Reaction of Tata Motors :

What was the reaction of Tata Motors to the concepts? “Nothing at all. I sent them pictures which they acknowledged,” he says.
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Old 6th June 2013, 07:00   #2
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Default Re: Tata Nano - Coupe & Trailer by K.Mahesh

Great work by Mr. Mahesh!
Nano Coupe looks really good and neat. A set of people will definitely like to own as second car as well just for city driving considering 19% smaller size than Nano.
Although Nano Trailer concept is good but not sure how much comfortable to drive with trailer in India while crossing small towns or or villages on state highways.
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Old 6th June 2013, 08:00   #3
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Default Re: Tata Nano - Coupe & Trailer by K.Mahesh

I dunno about the coupe, but the trailer looks interesting. Does it have a removable container? Because if I drive outstation with the trailer, I would be worried about its safety. If the storage compartment can be removed from the trailer and wheeled around, that would really be nice.
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Old 6th June 2013, 10:25   #4
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Default Re: Tata Nano - Coupe & Trailer by K.Mahesh

Conversion from monocoque to box frame? Seems like he has sound engineering principles. However, a shortened wheelbase means changed steering geometry. So did he make new uprights/knuckles for the front wheels as well?
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Old 10th June 2013, 16:12   #5
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Default Re: Tata Nano - Coupe & Trailer by K.Mahesh

The coupe seems like a winning idea. The increased storage space and maybe provision to fix a child seat would attract young urban couples. #Karlslymm are you listening?
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Old 10th June 2013, 16:38   #6
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Default Re: Tata Nano - Coupe & Trailer by K.Mahesh

Coupe looks impressing; can we have some more pictures of the same. With the door open, exact dimensions cannot be understood.
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Old 10th June 2013, 17:17   #7
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Default Re: Tata Nano - Coupe & Trailer by K.Mahesh

Am I the only one to disagree here? Admire the enthusiasm of the Gentleman, but the it looks like a wierd experiment to me, esp at 80K. And what is the point in making a small car, even smaller?

Tough to think that there is no handling issues with the trailer attached at the rear.
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Old 10th June 2013, 17:30   #8
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Default Re: Tata Nano - Coupe & Trailer by K.Mahesh

A two door Nano coupe, without changing the overall length or wheel base, would be much more appealing to the general buying public.

Think a-la Smart ForTwo..
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Old 6th October 2013, 20:18   #9
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Default Re: Tata Nano - Coupe & Trailer by K.Mahesh

The 2 door 2 seater version is most adorable. It even makes a style statement when out on the roads compared to the 4 seater nano! If only the same design would get significant weight reduction and more economical on the fuel mileage that would have been an icing on the cake.

Looking forward to the quadracycle concept he is working on, especially in the light of the heavy opposition of it by the TATAs and Marutis to the Indian Govt last week delaying the quadracycle approval.

A day spent watching the thousands of cars on the road to Electronic city b'lore makes us wonder if when every car is sole driven, why not create super light economical cars that can seat just one?

Mod Note : Please avoid typing with excessive dots.........like................this.

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Last edited by khan_sultan : 7th October 2013 at 11:45. Reason: Please avoid typing with excessive dots.........like................this.
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Old 7th October 2013, 01:28   #10
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A very good and sensible mod I would say. In fact when Tata launched the nano, my first question was, if Tata wanted to make a cheap car, why dint they make the nano a 2 door? ( not two seater, two doors). Great one. All the best.
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Old 7th October 2013, 06:35   #11
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Default Re: Tata Nano - Coupe & Trailer by K.Mahesh

Quote:
Originally Posted by stuntfreak View Post
A very good and sensible mod I would say. In fact when Tata launched the nano, my first question was, if Tata wanted to make a cheap car, why dint they make the nano a 2 door? ( not two seater, two doors). Great one. All the best.
I would believe that the reason for this is that the Nano was developed as a family car, to replace 2 wheelers with an entire family holding on for dear life. So, in the Indian context, it just had to be a 4 door car.

That said, they could have had a 2 door coupe version appealing to younger crowds.
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Old 7th October 2013, 08:07   #12
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Default Re: Tata Nano - Coupe & Trailer by K.Mahesh

I agree with benbsb29, The car is designed for normal Indian family (Small, affordable,cost effective in maintenance.) By reducing few more inches One addition in the family will make way for one more car in the family. I liked the hatch opening concept & trailer. Neat, clean well designed & finished. It looks like Tata has done it
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Old 7th October 2013, 14:35   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benbsb29 View Post
I would believe that the reason for this is that the Nano was developed as a family car, to replace 2 wheelers with an entire family holding on for dear life. So, in the Indian context, it just had to be a 4 door car. That said, they could have had a 2 door coupe version appealing to younger crowds.
Sir, I said two door 4 seater.
This way the price will be reduced, car will look good with two 1.5 times longer doors, and 4 seats as well.
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