Two decades before Tata launched its Nano people’s car, Bajaj Auto had very much the same idea with the Private Transport Vehicle (PTV), intended to sell for 25,000 rupees (under £1000 at the time).
A 150cc scooter engine and four-speed gearbox enabled a top speed of 50mph (ca. 80 km/h). Some 25 prototypes were built, of which 14-15 were sold to company officials and 2 kept for testing. Early ones were four-seaters but later ones had two seats and a shorter wheelbase, all with enclosed bodywork. After appearing at the 1988 Delhi Automotive Fair, sadly this proto-Nano never made full production.
To Find a Solution Bajaj Auto decided to manufacture a car that will cater to all necessities of a small Family, in keeping with the available technology. Initially they drafted a Four Seater, but due to engine Capacity Constraints it became a Two Seater. Thus the Private Transport Vehicle (PTV) was born.
At first the PTV was produced with a wheelbase of 2000 mm, but later reduced to 1400 mm. Tata PTV used a Steering Wheel (Borrowed from the Standard Herald) for better stability. It can Carry 2 People and can carry 100 kg of dead weight in the boot. Fuel consumption is 3-4 liters per 100 km.
As Mr.Ashok Sarwade, an engineer of Research and Design of Bajaj Auto said:
Actually those were the days of the Quota Raj, people had to wait for years to get a brand new vehicle. There was a huge price gap between scooters, motorcycles and small cars. Our R&D department decided to fill up this gap by designing a car that can give adequate safety and economy to a Small Family. They designed a Unique Car, which has the Platform of Rickshaw and an Engine of a Scooter.
- Number of wheels: 3
- Wheelbase: 1400 mm
- Engine: 150 cc
- Top speed: 50 mph (ca. 80 km/h)
- Fuel consumption: 3-4 l/100 km
- Payload: 100 kg