With all the news, I had this strange feeling that I have seen this car somewhere before. Then it hit me.
The four-door five-seater car has a 33bhp, 624cc engine at the rear. It has no airbags, air conditioning, radio, or power steering.
The car that the Nano most reminds me of is this:
This is the Cyclops. "The 51st best car of the 20th Century." Never heard of it? Well, the joke's on you.
A brief history:
In 1957 Road & Track introduced The Cyclops I. This was the brain child of cartoonist Stan Mott. Why, I don't know but from then on it was treated as a real car. The last known article on R&T about the car was in the year 2000 when it was voted one of the best cars in the century where it came in at 51st place.
The Cyclops was a tongue-in-both-cheeks concoction built in Italy of old Cinzano signs and vaguely similar in shape to today's VW Beetle II (i.e. - a half-cylinder), it had both sides identical and a huge Lucas P-100 headlamp centered in the front. There was no transmission, differential, clutch, or starter, or any other fancy doodads; the single cylinder was mounted vertically at the rear and the conn rod connected directly to a cranked real axle! You just stuck your foot through the floor and pushed back to start it going forwards and v.v. It sat on two fore-and-aft elliptical spring leaves.
As you can see, the Cyclops and the Nano are very similar. Small engine, minimalist design philosophy and funny looking.
What goes around comes around.