Tata Nano: the cheapest car in the world

Pete Mait

Last year, one item of news in particular rocked the automotive establishment around the world: the new Tata Nano was to go on sale in its native India for roughly 1,700 euros. Fairly quickly, word got around that this version contained only the barest essentials – no trace of modern safety technology. But now, Tata are showing off an improved model of the Nano that has been specifically designed for the European market.

Its idiosyncratic basic shape remains unaltered: a high build combined with small wheels allowing for maximum use of space. The Nano Europa is 3.29 metres long and 1.58 metres wide, and the only visual differences are the newly designed headlights and taillights. Under the bonnet, the previous two-cylinder engine has been replaced with a three-cylinder petrol engine, producing CO2 emissions of less than 100g/km. According to Tata, the Nano Europa meets all safety requirements, with ABS, ESP and airbags on board. So far, no launch date or prices have been released, but in India, the production model will be unveiled on 23rd March 2009 and go on general sale from April.