March 11, 2009 The European version of the world’s cheapest car, the Nano was introduced at the Geneva Auto Show this week. The Nano Europa is an upgraded version of the $2,500 "People's Car" soon to go into production in India. The Europa model sticks to the same narrow, upright, four-door format, but has a longer wheelbase, more safety features and is better finished than the Indian-market version so will be considerably more expensive than the Indian model due to go on sale in April 2009.

Tata Nano Europa

The 623cc 24Kw (33 hp) two-cylinder engine has been ousted in favor of a three-cylinder all-aluminum unit (it is not clear if the capacity has been increased) with multi-point fuel injection and 5-speed automatic transmission in the same rear engine, rear wheel drive layout. While fuel figures for the Europa were not released, the standard Nano gets 4.55 L/100 km (51.7 mpg). The Europa has been upgraded to meet EU regulations with CO2 emission of less than 100 gm/km and meets all EU safety regulations with the all steel body featuring energy absorbing zones. The Nano has electric power steering , ABS, ESP and Air Bags as standard.

The Nano has a striking resemblance to the Mitsubishi I with a very similar outline and the same rear engine, rear wheel drive mechanical layout. Tata is believed to be developing an electric version of the Nano, called the E-Nano, which may follow the MiEV lead and may well turn out to be the "world's cheapest electric car". Tata have invested in French air Car Company MDI so perhaps a compressed air version is also in the works.

Tata Indica Vista EV

Tata’s first official electric vehicle is the Tata Indica Vista EV. The car is converted by Miljø Innovasjon in Norway, which Tata owns a 70% stake of, from rolling chassis provided by Tata. The Indica uses Electrovaya Lithium Ion SuperPolymer batteries and has a range of 200km (125 miles).

TM4, a subsidiary of Hydro-Québec, has been selected by Miljø Innovasjon to provide electric motors, power electronics and vehicle controllers for an electric car demonstration program to be launched in Norway in 2009–2010. Under this program, Miljø will produce over one hundred units of an all-electric version of Tata’ Indica Vista.

Paul Evans

View gallery - 2 images