OK, while the headline may make NO sense to anyone in America, this is readily understandable in Southeast Asia, and particularly in India. And, it’s been part of an even bigger joke with nothing but punchlines for the Indian auto market.
You see, India is one of the largest growing economies in the world. They are spurring on a new and ever-expanding middle class along with an ever expanding population. Transportation you can imagine is obviously a logistical nightmare for everyone from the Prime Minister to the street market worker. Tata, owners of Jaguar, Rover and a highly successful heavy truck industry tried to introduce a solution to cheap but effective transportation, the Nano. Billed as the cheapest new car you can buy in India, it didn’t exactly fly off the showroom floors. Labour problems, supply issues and a little thing about the engines spontaneously CATCHING FIRE has sort of brought them down.
Well, Bajaj, makers of the famous “Tuk Tuk” 3 wheeled taxis seen everywhere have decided that they can do better. Originally known for being a supplier of Vespa parts, bodies and entire bikes and then later as a manufacturer of Steel-bodied scooters that now cover the land in that part of the world, they have lent their not-so-small industrial might to a very small car. The RE60 features a water-cooled 200cc engine that produces around 20Hp with a top speed of just over 43Mph. A barnstormer it’s not, but at 880lbs weight and fuel drives in either Gasoline, Liquid Propane or CNG, this could be a hit in regions where the Nano is more picky about it’s fuel.
And, small is the name of the game: Specs state that it will seat either 4 adults, or 14.1 Cubic Feet of cargo with the rear seats folded flat. No word on how small the price is either, but many industry analysts expect Bajaj to aggressively undercut the Nano. So… ready for a real compact? (And no, there’s probably no way in HELL we’d see this in the US sadly)