With its tiny tubeless tyres and one windscreen wiper, the cheapest car in the world should be trundling its way onto Briton’s roads by 2011.
The no-frills approach to manufacturing the little Tata Nano has meant it runs on dinky 12-inch tyres and doesn’t have any air vents – but these are small sacrifices to make for a car that will only cost around £4,000.
Although the price tag for buyers in India, where it was launched last week, is a miniscule £1,400, it will have to be inflated for the European market to meet our tougher safety standards.
But the little gem got the thumbs up from the Sun newspaper’s excellent motoring editor, Ken Gibson. He wrote: ‘This really is no-frills motoring — the thin seats are in a cheap plastic and there is only one windscreen wiper blade and one wing mirror, on the driver’s side.
‘There are no air vents, the windows wind down manually, the 12-inch tubeless tyres have only three wheel nuts and to fill up you have to go under the bonnet.
‘But precisely because of all this, the Nano has character.’
Oliver Hall, Operations Executive