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representational pictureReuters

Tata Motors, the maker of the least expensive car Nano, is reportedly developing a new entry level car for the Indian market, which would take on the likes of Maruti Suzuki Alto 800.

A Business Standard report, citing several industry sources, revealed that Tata is working on a small car based on the X302 platform, which is an upgraded version of the Nano platform. Codenamed Pelican, the entry-level hatchback, which is also expected to be the cheapest diesel car in the domestic market will be available in both diesel and petrol engine options.

The engine line-up of Pelican is likely to include 1.0-litre petrol engine and a 0.8-litre diesel engine. Just to remind, this is the same diesel engine, which was tested in Nano and later dropped the plan due to the high cost involved in developing the diesel technology.

Pelican would be Tata's next offering from Sanand factory after Nano to try the company's luck in the small car market. Nano, the Tata's cheapest offering and Ratan Tata's dream car, had a crash-landing in the Indian auto market due to various reasons.

Now the company is gearing up to salvage Nano's market with the new Pelican model from the same Gujarat capacity which lays almost unused because of the poor sales of Nano. Going by the latest report, Tata which aims to sell about 2,500 units a month, will also be looking at the possibility of exporting this model to other markets. Other details of the new Pelican are scanty at this point of time; however the car is expected to hit Indian roads by next year.

In another development, the emerging reports on the web suggest that Tata's next hatchback Kite, which has been testing on Indian roads, is set to take to the road in the second quarter of the year 2015.

Kite, a car based on Indica platform, is likely to be powered by the company's new 1.05-litre three-cylinder common-rail diesel motor, which can churn out a power of 64.1bhp and 14.27kgm of torque and all-new 1.2-litre petrol engine.

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