The Tata Nano has passed current European front and side impact standard crash tests.

The £1800 economy car was subjected to tests at the MIRA test centre last week under the supervision of an inspector from Britain’s Vehicle Certification Authority.

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The tests were witnessed by several journalists, including Autocar’s Steve Cropley.

The crash tests included a 40 per cent offset and a 56km/h (35mph) frontal impact and are tougher than those that exist in India - currently the Nano’s only market - but they are due to be adopted in India in three years’ time.

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By that time Tata aims to have 'Westernised' versions of the Nano ready for sale in both Europe and the US.

It intends to subject these cars to the NCAP testing, and is confident of a four-star rating.

Tata bosses are “delighted but not surprised” about the Nano’s successful crash tests at MIRA.

“We’ve conducted these tests in India already,” said Dr Clive Hickman, Tata’s head of engineering, “so we knew the car would pass. But it’s still a great moment.”

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