A $2,000 Car! Tata Motors announced that it will begin accepting orders for its $1,980 Nano “people’s car” on April 9th. (No relation to the Apple iPod Nano.) Too bad it’s only available in India. [Consumer Reports]


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  1. m4ximusprim3 says:

    I think if you’re going to make a car called the Tata, it better have a woman with her nekid boobies hanging out on the dashboard. Maybe her arms could rotate and act as a speedo and tach?

    • gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

      @m4ximusprim3: Tata is the manufacturer (“make”), much like GM, Toyota, Honda
      the Nano is the model, much like 4runner, prius, camry, etc

  2. Canino says:

    Yeah, it’s only available in India because it can’t pass US safety standards – no airbags for one example – or US emission standards. It’s basically an enclosed go-cart. With US requirements there’s no way anyone could build a car at anywhere near that price point.

  3. m4ximusprim3 says:

    I actually meant a picture of a woman. Judging by the size of the car, I’d be surprised if you could fit inside it with an additional child, let along a naked woman.

  4. Radi0logy says:

    Ok I want to say first of all that I think this is great, and I hope it comes to the U.S. (I believe its only for India right now?)

    That being said – on the LX model you get a spoiler. A spoiler on a 624cc, 2cyl 4 speed. haHA! A SPOILER! hah!

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      @Radi0logy: I don’t have a spoiler and I can’t pass 25 mph without flipping over.

  5. alexburrito says:

    NO AIRBAGS???!! Then, what are the Tatas?

  6. Vanilla5 says:

    The BBC is reporting that it will be available in the U.S. in the future. (After they add airbags, I’m sure.)

  7. Nate425 says:

    At 6′ 5″ you won’t catch me in that thing even if I did lose my sense of pride and attempt to drive it.

  8. shepd says:

    North American needs a “quadricycle” vehicle category like all other nations have nowadays, that way we can enjoy these great commuter vehicles. You don’t need all sorts of safety features for a vehicle that can’t drive on the highway (or much over 60 km/h for that matter).

  9. Jfielder says:

    Driving one of those in Detroit would be a deathwish. Between the rabid “buy american” folks, and the 16 year olds texting while driving that new H2 that daddy bought them, it would be a guaranteed that being behind the wheel of that tiny tin can would shorten your life span.

  10. Crim Law Geek says:

    Isn’t this the same car that basically exploded during the crash test?

  11. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    shepd: If you want to take your car on the road anywhere past your own neighborhood, you’ll need to be on the highway.

    • shepd says:

      @pecan 3.14159265:

      Well, that’s true. But, for me, I’d drive this to work and back, and to pick up groceries and similar stuff, that’s all. That’s about 95% of my driving, the rest I could either buy a big car for, or, more likely, I’d just rent one when I need it (about once a month at most). Of course, I try to live within a 20 or 30 minute drive of my work, and while I do use the highway to get to work right now, it would only add another 5 minutes to my commute to take city roads.

      I can travel to at least 3 similarly sized cities as my own reasonably without using highways at all (reasonably being that it would only add 5 or 10 minutes to the travel time).

      I suppose it all depends where you live.

  12. Radoman says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong here, but if this car did improve it’s safety standards and come to the U.S., wouldn’t it be the smallest engine in a car on American highways?

    I mean even a Smart Car is .7 liter.. A Smart is also smaller and lighter, therefore faster.

    I wonder if the Tata would even be allowed on freeways, or if they’d have to give it some kind of “surface streets only” license.

    • David Brodbeck says:

      @Radoman: If you’re including only current cars, I think so. There were cars sold here in the ’60s that had smaller engines.

  13. metsarethe... says:

    I’ll take 1 in each color

  14. slim150 says:

    I hope this never gets to the USA. It uses GLUE instead of WELDS

    • David Brodbeck says:

      @slim150: Hate to break it to you, but a lot of modern cars are using “structural adhesives.” Not exclusively, but in many locations where spot welding would have been used in the past. They’re especially useful for joining aluminum.

    • Porntipsguzzardo_GitEmSteveDave says:

      @slim150: I watched a episode of Newtons Apple many moons ago, and they had two pieces of steel held together with glue and two held together with welds/rivets. They swung a sand bag at each. The welded/riveted one failed and broke apart. The glued one held. IIRC, the glue forms a even microscopic bond and becomes part of the two pieces of metal, so it helps spread the force. The welding/riveting is an uneven bond, and creates low and high strength points, which can lead to failure.

  15. Plates says:

    Any crash test video?

  16. Snarkysnake says:

    Stop dreaming if you want one of these in the U.S….It’s not gonna happen.

    Consider: The Smart Car was available in Europe for almost 10 years before anyone could buy one here.It was designed by Mercedes (and Swatch) ,has a much more powerful engine and meets U.S. crash standards.And it still took almost a decade before it hit our shores.From what I have read,the Tata would never pass crash and emissions requirements here without big $$$ spent on design changes,which defeats the whole purpose.
    Even IF it could be sold here,would anyone buy it ? Not likely.We Americans like our cars a lot more plush than this thing.

    However…There is at least one Indian econo-cruiser that made it to the U.S- The Bajaj 3 wheeler.If you want slow and cheap,this is it. It was street legal up until late last year,but now cannot be legally sold.

  17. Pasketti says:

    It’s a Yugo for the 21st century!

    • David Brodbeck says:

      @Pasketti: Yup. Is Malcolm Bricklin aware of this? He’ll probably want to get in on the deal. He won’t be happy until Americans are all walking. ;)

  18. Single-n-Bitter_GitEmSteveDave says:

    Just keep these off the roads in NJ, and everyone concerned will be safe. I’m not threatening, I’m just sayin, accidents happen.

  19. Single-n-Bitter_GitEmSteveDave says:

    OH, I just found some test crash footage. It’s a little old, but it shows how this will hold up.

  20. HawkWolf says:

    People keep mentioning commuter vehicles and not having to go on the highway and blah blah… where I live, it’s very common to have to drive on the highway to get to your job. Well, I suppose you could just instantly uproot yourself and move somewhere closer, except now your house isn’t worth anything so you can’t sell it…

  21. kwsventures says:

    The smart car looks like a big wind will blow it over.

  22. ElizabethD says:

    I don’t care. I want one! It would be perfect for me as I putt-putt around the smallest state in the U.S.

  23. scokar says:

    Should have called it the iCar.

  24. oneandone says:

    I have mixed feelings on this. On the one hand, it’s great that companies are tailoring their products to what very low income people can afford & delivering items and services they can use. There’s a huge market for actually useful things at prices most of the people in the world can afford.

    On the other hand, thinking of all the pollution that’s going to come from thousands (millions?) of new cars being built & operated makes me cringe. But the other other hand, maybe it’s better than operating older, very inefficient vehicles, or packing dozens of people into a minibus. And if someone in India can now get to work or take care of their family now that they have a little car, who am I to judge?

    So I go back and forth. There are probably a lot of unintended consequences from this kind of thing, and it’s hard to weigh in without being confronted with my own priveleged position. I hope the good consequences outweigh the bad.

    • David Brodbeck says:

      @oneandone: A lot of the people this vehicle is aimed at probably already own motorcycles or scooters, so that might lessen the impact somewhat.

  25. MrsLopsided says:

    $2000 won’t even cover the cost to repair the crumple zone on my SUV.

  26. sockrockinbeats says:

    didn’t tata buy land rover and jaguar? there’ll be tatas on american roads soon enough.

    ….tatas. hahahahhaha

  27. edwardso says:

    I’m all for smaller cars but no way in hell would you catch me driving something as small as a smart car on the beltway.

  28. Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

    @pecan pi: It wasn’t at all unusual, 20 or 30 years ago, for 2-car families to have 1 nice car and 1 econobox, that the drivers (usually mom and dad) traded off as necessary — dad would drive the econobox to the train station so mom could ferry the kids around in the safer, bigger car, unless dad had to drive out of town and take the nicer car, in which case mom would use the econobox for in-town errands that day.

    We’ve considered emulating this model — rarely do my husband and I have to leave town on highways on the same day. He works 3 miles away — he can bike it in 20 minutes — and I do have to use a highway to get to work, but not every day, and most of our errands are close by and don’t require going above 35 mph.

    We’ve also considered a Vespa as our second “car” … but the law is sooooooooo picky about not driving infants around on Vespas. :P

    • David Brodbeck says:

      @Eyebrows McGee (on Twitter: LPetelle): Have you looked into electric “neighborhood vehicles”? They’re kind of golf cart like, but many are fully enclosed, and in many states they’re street legal for roads with speed limits up to 35 mph. (Although I probably wouldn’t drive one on a road with a speed limit over 25, since a 35 mph limit usually means cars are going at least 40.)

  29. savvy9999 says:

    for $2k I would totally buy this and drive this. My ‘commute’ now is 7 minutes on 35 mph quasi-rural/suburban streets. This thing is perfect. Probably only have to fill up only once every other month, instead of the once a month I have to now.

  30. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Eyebrows McGee (on Twitter: LPetelle): I would love to have a Vespa as a vehicle to zip around in, just to go to the store or whatnot…but I don’t think I could get one for less than I could a bicycle…and I don’t even have a bicycle right now, so I need a bicycle to be cheaper than the mini amount of gas I use to go 10 minutes down the street. :-P

    floraposte: The Wiki link has a period at the end, FYI…anyone wanting to click for Twike needs to take the . off the end of the url.

  31. ebz06 says:

    Hmmmm . . . “(No relation to the Apple iPod Nano.)”
    You got that right—and it’s only slightly larger.

  32. gman863 says:

    If you buy and find it’s too small, do you trade it in or see a doctor who specializes in Tata enlargements?

  33. goodywitch says:

    I thought the “people’s car” was the Volkswagen?

    • goodywitch says:

      @goodywitch: I can see this selling in India. Considering that entire families travel on one scooter without a sidecar, this will be roomie.