Tata Motors may have the least expensive car on the market, but the company isn’t stopping there. It looks as though it is working on a pickup truck to expand its lineup.
Powered by a 350cc single-cylinder diesel engine, the truck (codenamed Penguin) employs an interesting engine configuration. Like front-wheel-drive vehicles, the engine is mounted on the drive wheels but in the rear. The design likely lowers costs and, more importantly with such a small engine, reduces drivetrain power loss.
With Nano influences, the Penguin shares a single wiper arm and three-lug wheels. The Penguin is very simple in design. Up front is a small cab large enough for two passengers. Out back is nothing more than a flat bed with short walls on each side. The truck may be the most basic of pickups, but it’ll haul a load of mulch like the best of them. The folks at Indian Autos Blog claim the Penguin to be a half-ton pickup, but with its small size and displacement, that declaration is yet to be proven.
If the Nano’s price is any indication of where the Penguin will fall, we expect to see a sub-$5000 truck. But we must face reality and realize that the Penguin isn’t likely to ever make it the U.S. market. A boy can dream though, can’t he?