Got $2,500? Then Tata Motors may have just the car for you.
If you live in India, that is. The tiny little bubble of a car, which made its debut Thursday at the New Delhi Auto Expo, is expected to go on sale to Indian consumers later this year, but it won't hit the export market in the next few years--and then it'll likely be to dealerships nearby in Southeast Asia and farther afield in Africa and Latin America. Too bad for a San Francisco-based colleague of mine, whose first reaction was "I want one of those. It's like a big street-legal go-cart."
Officially, it's the Tata Nano, but the company's preferred moniker is the People's Car. Yes, at that price, it's intended for the masses. Not all at once, of course--the 10-foot long car will hold only about four people at any given time, and not much in the way of luggage or grocery bags.
For more about the Nano/People's Car and other models on display at the New Delhi show, see "Photos: Tata's $2,500 car."
If you're will to spend a little more--roughly twice as much--you might want to consider being the first on your block to get a car that runs on compressed air. Europe-based Motor Development International, which last year got a hefty investment from Tata Motors, is getting closer to delivery of its MiniCat city car and similar models.
For more on the MDI models, see "Photos: MiniCat car runs on compressed air."