Tata Nano, World's Cheapest Car Makes Its Debut

Nano designers created the car, keeping in mind India's roads full of potholes and excessive speed bumps. As a result, the car has a reasonable undercarriage clearance and feels much higher off the ground than one would expect from such a small vehicle. The turning-circle diameter is 8 meters, so doughnuts will likely make you dizzy and three-point-turns are no longer necessary.

Exciting and "revolutionary" as the car may be, many fear it will lead to overcrowding and overpollution of India's already crowded and polluted cities.

"Today in Delhi, cars and two-wheelers occupy more than 75 percent of the road space, but they meet less than 20 percent of the travel demand," said Anumita Roychowdhury, associate director of the Center for Science and Environment in New Delhi.

"If [we allow] these cars to come into our city and take and marginalize public transport, then the pollution challenge, the energy challenge, the security challenge and the climate challenge we face today ... we will just not be able to take that on," Roychowdhury said.

Tata Motors owner Ratan Tata made the surprise announcement that the company plans to release a version of the car in the United States.

"Initially, we didn't plan that we would market it in the U.S. at first, but due to the change in the economic climate and global crisis, we're attracted by this idea," said Tata.

At the earliest, the American version would arrive in 2½ years.

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