Mike Stevens | Mar 4, 2009

When Tata Motors first whipped the sheet off its sub-$5000 Nano microcar at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show, other car makers were aghast that a car could be built for such a low price.

But if last year's reveal was merely unsettling for the opposition, then the reveal of the Nano Europa at this year's Show will no doubt cause many a sleepless night for countless auto-industry executives.

The presence of the Nano Europa at Geneva signals Tata’s intent to introduce the car to the European market. Although at this stage Tata hasn’t revealed which markets the Nano Europa is destined for, or when it will arrive, CEO Ratan Tata says the Nano will be definitely coming to Western Europe and the UK.

In an attempt to make the super-cheap Nano more acceptable to European tastes, the Europa is slightly different to the Indian market model.

Revisions have been made to the exterior styling and the car sits on a slightly longer wheelbase. Inside interior quality is improved and the engine is upgraded to an all-aluminium fuel injected three-cylinder mated to a five-speed automatic transmission.

The cost-saving three-stud wheel hubs also appear to have been given the flick in favour of more rugged four-stud items.

The Nano launches officially in India later this month and could possibly be available in Europe by the end of the year. The low cost and frugal operating costs of the Nano mean that the biggest hurdle Tata will have to overcome is finding enough production capacity to keep with demand.

If the amount of attention the diminutive four-seater has received around the world is any indication, then the Nano looks like joining the Model T, Mini, Beetle and 2CV as one of the world's most accessible modes of personal transportation.

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