14 May 2008

Renault’s cheap Indian

Budget Tata Nano rival announced: could be faster than a bicycle

Tata Nano

Renault has announced that it is set to build a car that's even cheaper than that Clio Campus thing: the £1,500 ULC.

A few caveats on that Amazingly Attention-Grabbing Opening Line: it's not just Renault - in fact, Renault, Nissan and Indian motorcycle firm Bajaj are collaborating on the ULC - and it won't be on sale in the UK.

Instead, the ULC is set to be sold on the subcontinent as a budget rival to the Tata Nano (pictured).

ULC stands for Ultra Low Cost - the codename of the project currently in development and set to putter onto Indian roads by 2011.

"The concept is to produce a reliable, solid vehicle at very low cost for Indian families who are still currently all using mopeds," said a Renault spokesman.

Don't expect many luxuries on the ULC: like the Tata, everything beyond, erm, wheels and seats will be cost extras.

Unlike the rear-engined Tata, though, the ULC will have its as-yet-unspecified-but-likely-small-and-weedy-engine up front: Renault engineers reckon it should manage 60mph and 80mpg.

Top Gear is already planning the three-way group test between the ULC, the Tata Nano and a wheelbarrow pushed by a strong man.

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