The Icon 20/20 Designers: Ratan Tata 01.05.09

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The Tata Nano

In March, Indian industrialist Ratan N Tata's company Tata Motors launched the world's cheapest car - the Tata Nano, or People's Car, five years in the making. It is 3.1m long, has a 623cc rear engine and a windscreen wiper, and can reach 65mph, but it has no airbags, antilock breaks or air conditioning. It costs just over $2,000, almost half the price of the China's QQ3Y Chery and India's Maruti 800 cars. The stuff of nightmares for environmentalists, it nevertheless will have a huge impact on the mobility of a nation where travel is often problematic and unsafe. "I hope this changes the way people travel in rural India. We are a country of a billion and most are denied connectivity," said Mr Tata at the launch of the Nano at the Delhi Auto Expo in January 2008. The Nano will also be exported to South-east Asia, South America and Africa, where it promises to revolutionise economies and lives by boosting mobiltity and living standards.

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Image

Adam Laycock

 

Words

Justin McGuirk, Johanna Agerman, William Wiles, Anna Bates, Beatrice Galilee, Oliver Wainwright, Alex Pasternack, Matthew Barac, Sean Dodson

 

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