The Tata Nano
produced in India, except for a small discrepancy in width, it would
into the Kei car class. It"s specification is more about
producing an ultra low cost car for an emerging market in India
with none of the high tech' refinements of most of the Kei cars.
To achieve a low cost product, Tata chose to mount a two cylinder
engine in a mid/rear engine chassis. Apart from it"s weight of
600Kg ,due having a steel chassis /body, the Nano has more in common
with the European Quadricycles rather than the Kei cars, having no
power assistance for any of its controls.
Another small car that has a lot in common with the Kei cars, except
having only two seats, is the Smart "Fortwo
". Made in
France. In fact a special narrow version to fit the Kei car
formula, the "Smart K", was produced for a few year for sale in
Japan. The Fortwo is a two seat mid/rear engined car. The present
production models have larger diesel engine of 800cc or a petrol
engine of 1000cc.There is also an electric version the Smart ED.
The Toyota iQ
another in a niche of it's own, being less than twice as long 2.985
metres, as it is wide 1.68 metres. A more common ratio for a small car
is 2.25 to 1. The iQ is not an economy car, but a miniature luxury city
car and although sold as a four seat car, it is in reality a 2 plus 2
A simple study of models considered to be four seat city cars, show
them to be between 3.4 to 3.7 metres long, between 1.5 to 1.7 metres
wide and 1.4 to 1.6 metres high. Being less than 1000kg in weight, with
engine's with some exceptions of from 1 litre to 1.3 litres capacity.
The following fit in to this category. They are all four seat front
wheel drive cars, with three or four cylinder water cooled engines.
Manufacture of city
cars has mostly moved to newly developing economies, ether by long
established manufacturers or newer local companies.
The Nissan March/Micra
the latest model the fourth generation, is produced at various
locations throughout the world and it is truly a world car.
Produced in India by Maruti, the Suzuki "A Star",
a city car version of the Suzuki Alta, the name it is known by in
Europe. In some other markets it is known as the Suzuki Celerio. It is
also sold as
the Nissan Pixo . Maruti/Suzuki also produce a non Kei version of
the Wagon R, with a 1.1 litre engine. The Wagon R has been replaced in
European markets by the Suzuki Splash
in Hungary and is also sold by GM Europe as the Agila. Maruti also
produce it in India as the Ritz. The Perodua Myvi
is a second
generation Daihatsu Sirion produced
in Malaysia. The Savvy
in Malaysia is Proton's City car/super mini offering. It appears
to be very popular in Asia.
Korea has an expanding motor industry with three manufacturers of city
cars. The Daewoo Matiz
also known as the Chevrolet Spark is also assembled in India and
Uzbekistan. Hyundai manufacture it's latest city car the "i 10"
, in India.
The Kia Picanto
is sold throughout Asia and assembled in Vietnam and Indonesia as well
as Korea. There is copy of the Matiz produced in China by Chery
Automobile, the QQ3
It is also assembled in Russia and Indonesia.
The cost of producing a new design is very high and in Europe
cooperative efforts have been a way of overcoming this. Add to
this producing the result in a lower cost economy helps
makes production viable. One such company is "Toyota Peugeot
Citroën Automobile Czech," set up by the manufactures named in
it's title in the Czech Republic. The models produced by this company
are the Toyota Aygo
and the Peugeot 107
Another approach is have another company make you a car using their
platform but with your machinery and a distinctive body. That what Ford
did for the latest European Ka
. Based on the Fiat
Panda platform and
produced at the Fiat plant at Tychy in Poland. Fiat also produce the
and the 500
a Retro model also on the Panda platform, at this plant, The
Panda platform is also utilised for the new Uno
Ford Ka II
Renault manufacture the latest version of the Twingo
in Slovenia, the original Twingo is still being produced in Columbia.
There are still a couple of city cars produced in what can be called
traditional manufacturing countries, The latest generation of the
the third is manufactured in Japan,
introduced in 2010, is also marketed as the Daihatsu Boon and the
Toyota Passo. The BMW Mini
which has nothing in common with the original "Mini", except the name,
is produced at Cowley in England. The BMW Mini has the physical size of
a city car but is fitted with larger capacity engines than most of the
other city car and is therefore heavier.
Three city cars that have on the market since 2011 are the VW Up, the
Skoda Citigo and the Seat Mii. All are produced in Slovakia and the all
the same with cosmetic variations. In Britain this known as badge
The latest Mitsubishi Mirage is a city car
produced in Thailand.
There may be more mini and city cars in production in the world and I
shall keep looking for them.