The Tata Nano was created by Tata Motors to provide inexpensive and reliable transportation for India’s growing middle class. One problem, though: the Indian middle class wants to buy aspirational cars that say, “we’ve made it,” not inexpensive cars that say “we’re too frugal to buy a Suzuki Alto or a Hyundai i10.”
By being cheap and practical, the Tata Nano ceases to be desirable. The Wall Street Journal reports that one enterprising Indian jewelry store chain has found a way around that: by covering a Tata Nano with 176 pounds of gold, 33 pounds of silver plus assorted gemstones, Goldplus has created the world’s most expensive Tata Nano.
The value of the bling-bedecked Nano? A cool 225.17 million Indian rupees, or the equivalent of $4.7 million, based on the current exchange rate. That kind of money buys you a Bugatti Veyron, a loaded Chevy Volt to balance out your carbon credit deficit, and a really, really nice house to store them in.
In fact, we can’t envision a single instance where buying a gold-laden Nano makes sense, fiscal or otherwise. You wouldn’t want to drive it, since adding over 200 pounds of precious metal isn’t going to help with the Nano’s already sloth-like acceleration, or it’s unsafe-at-any-speed handling and braking ability.
You certainly can’t park it anywhere, since even a thirty second trip to the 7-11 would likely devalue the car by a few hundred thousand dollars, as curious onlookers help you reduce the car’s curb weight by taking souvenirs.
While other creations from Goldplus (like the six-foot-diameter gold bangle cast to be the world’s largest) have been melted for scrap, the company hopes someone will buy the golden Nano as a family heirloom. While it does avoid the stigma of being just another cheap Nano, we hope that Goldplus reconsiders smelting the car (which has a reputation for doing this on its own); just because you can cover something with gold and jewels doesn’t mean you should.