The $2500 Car

From a NYTimes article, a story about a new $2500 car hitting the market in India. It won't pass US or European emissions or safety standards, but still- how neat is this?

For Tata Motors of India, which will introduce its ultra-cheap car on Thursday, the question was, what could it take out?

The company has kept its new vehicle under wraps, but interviews with suppliers and others involved in its construction reveal some of its cost-cutting engineering secrets — including a hollowed out steering-wheel shaft, a trunk with space for a briefcase and a rear-mounted engine not much more powerful than a high-end riding mower.

The upside is a car expected to retail for as little as the equivalent of $2,500, or about the price of the optional DVD player on the Lexus LX 470 sport utility vehicle.

The model appearing on Thursday has no radio, no power steering, no power windows, no air-conditioning and one windshield wiper instead of two, according to suppliers and Tata’s own statements. Bucking prevailing habits, the car lacks a tachometer and uses an analog rather than digital speedometer,

Picture of The $2500 Car
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KentsOkay9 years ago
Ehm... I think I'll pass and go for a used. On all those little bumpy roads I bet the lack of power steering makes for an interesting ride...
Naw, ride a car that has mechanical steering :) It's really doesn't require any more effort (but may take an extra turn to go full lock) :) Trying to force a power steering - that's just terrible :p
Very true. I grew up learning to drive with everything manual, and when rack and pinion (without power) came out, it was like heaven. LOL Does anyone remember those awful original power brakes ?
You mean the ones where it says "Power Brake" on the brake pedal? :p
Yeah, rather then the current "power assist" which are nice. One could loose teeth using the old power brakes (steering wheel meets mouth). :-)
I was driving an unmaintained grain truck last year when I worked at a feed yard. I believe it was a 44 ford dump model, all manual, even the windshield wipers had handles. You could only see the ground underneath you threw the floor in 4 different areas. quite fun backing up!
Yeah, I remember my grandpa on my Mom's side had an old p/u truck, no key, just a metal push button. Ah the good ole days :-)
static Goodhart7 years ago
More likely than not the PU had a keyed ignition switch or one that was replaced by a simple toggle switch. The old ford products came from the factory with a locking ignition switch, and that push button to operate the starter. GM vehicles used a foot pedal to operate the starter, and had a locking ignition switch as well.
Goodhart static7 years ago
I could have been a replaced switch, I don't know, I was young at the time (1960's sometime). I do remember wonding about the push button however.
Yeah, the good ole days, but this was a year ago! Sometimes I wish vehicles were made as durable now as they were then.
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