Italian scooter maker reveals a low-cost three-seater city car to take on the Tata Nano

Italian scooter maker Piaggio is readying a low-cost three-seat city-car that could be sold in Europe post-2013.

A concept of the four-wheel design, with a similar theme to the Smart Fortwo, has been revealed at the Milan Motorcycle Show.

The three-seat cabin features a central, front driving position and twin rear seats, just like the McLaren F1 and BMW’s 1994 concept, the Z13, also based around ‘bike running gear.

See a pic of the Piaggio city car at the Milan show

Called the NT3, the Piaggio concept was conceived in India, where it would battle the $2500 (£1500) Tata Nano and entry-level Maruti hatches.

The NT3 is based around Piaggio’s three-wheel Ape, its classic three-wheel commercial pick-up and van, which is popular in southern Europe and emerging markets like India.

The engine choices in the concept are 200cc or 300cc ‘bike engines, the 300cc also mated to a hybrid system.

Read Autocar's first drive of the Tata Nano

Piaggio boss Roberto Colannino told Reuters that he had “very big sales numbers in mind for India” and that sales are also planned for “Asia and Europe”.

No factory location or sales launch dates were revealed, although Piaggio is planning to start production “within three years”, according to Reuters.

Join the debate


4 November 2010

Is it anything to do with Gordon Murray? I see a lot of layout similarities.

4 November 2010

Looks interesting (if not particularly exciting) and certainly good to see a bike manufacturer designing a car based on bike technology. Would certainly be interesting to see if other bike manufacturers (Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, etc) develop some of their own city cars using existing bike technology. A Ducati city car, anyone?! Only if its in red!!!

4 November 2010

Wary of motorbikes, and loathing public transport, one applauds the initiative - but why does this sort of thing have to be so bug-ugly?

4 November 2010

Glad this has finally been revealed to the press - I was first told about it in July 2009, so quite glad it's now public!

4 November 2010

I too see many similarities with Gordon Murray's new city car, and with such small engines it is going to have to be extremely light or it will struggle to pull the skin off a rice pudding.

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