NYT: A look at the world's cheapest car - Tato Nano in India
The Nano has been nicknamed “The People’s Car” because its starting price will make it accessible to more Indians than any other new car on the market. But the ultra-cheap, ultra-compact Nano comes with no frills. It runs on a 623-cc 2-cylinder engine with about 30 horsepower. Power steering and power brakes are optional on the base model. Airbags, antilock brakes and even a radio aren’t available at all.
The official launch of the tiny four-door car, however, was hardly lacking in pomp and ceremony. And perhaps lost amid the canapés and five-star service of the Taj Hotel (which is owned by the Tata Group and was a target of last year’s terrorist attacks) was the fact that, despite appearances, the Nano isn’t exactly on sale yet.
The first models arrive in dealer showrooms in early April. Application forms to register to buy the car will be accepted from April 9-25. And for the first time in company history, Tata Motors will charge a fee (about $6) to anyone who applies to buy the car.