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Is This the New World's Cheapest Car?

  • Bajaj RE60

    Bajaj Auto Managing Director Rajiv Bajaj stands next to the RE60AP

  • bajaj1.jpg

The world’s cheapest car, India’s Tata Nano, may soon be considered a luxury.

The sub-$2,000 microcar will soon be facing competition from an even smaller, and likely cheaper competitor from Indian motorcycle builder Bajaj that takes the meaning of the word “car” to new lows.

The RE60 introduced at the New Delhi Auto Show this week seats four within its nine-foot length. Without them, the lightweight four-door hatchback tips the scales at just 880 pounds.

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Envisioned as a city car and scooter replacement, power comes from a 200cc single-cylinder engine that squeezes out 20 hp and can propel the oddly-shaped runabout to a top speed of 43 mph, which is more than fast enough for India’s crowded urban centers. Nevertheless, four seatbelts come standard.

The tradeoff for the lack of speed is a fuel economy rating said to be 82 mpg on the Indian testing cycle.

The price of the vehicle was not revealed, but as the more robust and relatively feature-laden 34 hp Nano has been falling well short of sales projections despite its rock bottom sticker price, the Bajaj is expected to undercut it by some margin.

But don’t put your Vespa on eBay just yet, while Tata has indicated an interest in bringing the Nano to the U.S. one day Bajaj has announced no such plans.

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