The Tata Nano has finally been released. At a mere $2,000 USD its the world's cheapest car. While lacking in safety, it gets 60 mpg and features low emissions.  (Source: Car Magazine UK)
Tata Motors' latest model has been released and is the world's cheapest car

DailyTech previously covered the announcement of Tata Motor's Nano car, the world's cheapest car.  Despite protests and delays, that car was finally released at a mega-event in Mumbai, India.  The car is set to rock developing markets like China and India thanks to an ultra-low price of 100,000 rupees ($2,000 USD).

The car is a small 4-door sedan, designed to seat five 6-foot passengers.  It weighs a mere 600 kg unladen thanks to its lightweight steel frame.  It is powered by a 2-cylinder 624cc, 33 BHP engine -- the kind you would normally find in a motorcycle or scooter.

Still, the engine does allow for top speeds of up to 65 MPH.  The car can reach 60 MPH in a rather long 17 seconds, but 0-30 mph and 0-40 mph are quite fast and responsive.  The car also gets 60 MPG and has engine emissions of only 100g/km.

The interior is sparse, but is reported to be sturdily constructed and the ride inside is reported to be rather smooth, with low noise and vibration levels even on bumpy surfaces.  Further, extra packages like air conditioning, a radio, or alloy wheels can also spice things up. 

Still, downsides for the vehicle are also many.  The vehicle is prone to rolling when cornering thanks to its tall height and narrow wheelbase.  And while admittedly safer than the scooters or bikes that most users will be upgrading from, the safety of the vehicle is also suspect.  While the steel frame should be relatively sturdy, the car features no airbags.

Among the planned safety-related upgrades are airbags, anti-lock brakes, power steering, more powerful three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, along with five-speed and automatic gearboxes.  All of these upgrades may make the vehicle not only safer (and faster), but able to be legally sold in more markets around the world which have higher safety standards.

Among the other gripes about the vehicle include that the four-speed gear shift felt, according to reports, "long and lumpy."  Also, the car has a mere 100 liters (3.53 ft3) of cargo space and no hatch to access it.  The hatch was eliminated to cut costs and the cargo space is only accessible by folding down the back seat.

Still, despite its safety concerns and gripes, the Nano is looking to be an amazing car for its price.  By motorizing the developing world, it has the promise of transcending a normal car release and empowering entire societies.  Describes Car Magazine UK's Ben Oliver, "CAR's first ride in the Tata Nano felt far more significant and exciting than a first drive in a Ferrari or Lamborghini, because this car’s importance is immeasurably greater. It won’t compete on dynamics or quality with European or Japanese city cars, but it doesn’t have to."

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)
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