Bajaj PTV

Bajaj PTV

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

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