The world’s cheapest car, the Tata Nano, is to get a diesel engine, according to a report in The Economic Times. An 800cc twin-cylinder turbocharged common-rail diesel engine has been developed by powertrain firm FEV, Bosch and Honeywell. The unit is designed primarily for the Indian market.

However, Autocar sources in India have revealed that Tata is also in talks with Fiat to use the Italian manufacturer’s twin-cylinder diesel engine in export-spec examples of the tiny car.

The only Nano shown to date is the 624cc 30bhp petrol version that was unveiled at the New Dehli auto show in January this year. It weighs just 600kg and has a top speed of 60mph.

Tata will produce 250,000 units of the diminutive car per year and the firm’s boss Ratan Tata claims that demand has already outstripped supply in India. Tata intends to satisfy the domestic market first, so Europe will only get the Nano by 2011 at the earliest.

There are no confirmed details yet on engine power output, fuel consumption or price for either Nano oil-burner.

Ian Tonkin