Mar 26, 2009 | 29
Tata Motors’ Nano, billed as the world’s cheapest (new) car, with base models selling for about $2,000 (or 100,000 rupees) is expected to sell like hot cakes when the company starts taking orders for it on April 9.
The no-frills Nano has a two-cylinder engine mounted in the rear (like the classic Volkswagen Beetle), giving it a top speed of 65 miles (105 kilometers) per hour. The base model comes sans air conditioning and power windows, but those amenities are available in deluxe models.
The Nano is aptly named as it stretches just a bit over 10 feet (3 meters) long, making it about four feet (1.2 meters) shorter than the 2008 Ford Focus hatchback, a compact car by U.S. standards. The ride weighs in at just 1,300 pounds (660 kilograms), about half of a Focus hatchback. This light weight partially explains the Nano’s low cost because fewer raw materials were needed to make it, according to the Chicago Tribune. A big bonus: Lightness also gives the Nano a very fuel-efficient 55 miles per gallon (24 kilometers per liter) of gasoline, Tata Motors says.
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