Click above for a high-res gallery of the Tata Nano Europa

Uttering the word "Europa" should spark memories of the funky and fragile Lotus of the '60s and '70s, or perhaps the British sportscar company's more recent revival. What one normally doesn't tend to think of is the Tata Nano.

That may change, however, as the discount Indian auto is slated to come to The Continent wearing the Nano Europa badge, and it will arrive with more standard equipment and a higher base price than the target $2,500 USD it will sell for in India. Judging from the production-ready models debuting at the Geneva Motor Show this week, it will also be the best-looking Nano in the family.

While the naming usage may have Colin Chapman rolling in his minimalist coffin, the Nano Europa still shares a few similarities, including a low curb weight, small wheels at the corners, small engines with unusual placements, and so on.

The Europa differs significantly from the standard Nano with a longer 2.28-meter wheelbase (90 inches, or about 7.5 inches longer), a different drivetrain and added standard equipment. In fact, the Europa offers a raft of high-end new-to-Nano features like four-lug 14-inch alloy wheels, electric power steering, LED lighting (unlikely to see production) and even a standard passenger-side mirror. Did we mention it even has an all-aluminum three-cylinder engine and a five-speed transmission for less-dangerous highway cruising?

All joking aside, the Europa also figures to get more safety features, including stability control and anti-lock brakes, and Tata says the car will adhere to all necessary safety regulations before it goes on sale.

While pricing has not been announced, there is talk of hitting the 5,000 Euro bogey (around $6350 USD) when the car launches for 2011, and if the company can hit that target price, we suspect there will be far more Tata Europas extant than Lotus Europas in just a few months' worth of production. High-res gallery of both yellow and silver Europas below, official press release after the jump.

Related GalleryGeneva 2009: Tata Nano Europa


PRESS RELEASE:

Tata Nano Europa, for future launch in international markets, displayed at 79th Geneva Motor Show

Geneva, March 3, 2009: Tata Motors today presented at the 79th Geneva Motor Show the Tata Nano Europa, intended for a future launch in select international markets. The company has also displayed the Tata Prima, a concept luxury sedan, and the Tata Indica Vista EV, an electric vehicle based on the award-winning new generation Tata Indica Vista.

Speaking on the occasion at the Geneva Motor Show, Mr. Ratan N. Tata, Chairman of Tata Sons and Tata Motors, said, "In India, the Nano will be launched on March 23, and the cars will be on display at company dealerships from the first week of April. The Nano has also generated wide interest in developed countries, since it's unveiling in Delhi and its presentation here last year. We are delighted to present the Nano Europa for future launch in such markets. The Indica Vista EV represents the work of Tata Motors on alternate technologies, while the Prima is an iteration of a luxury sedan we will introduce. They together signify the ongoing evolution in our cars."

Tata Nano Europa

With a length of 3.29 metres and width of 1.58 metres, the Tata Nano Europa continues to be stylishly petite but surprises with its spacious interior and generous leg space. The slightly longer wheelbase of 2.28 metres combines excellent space and manoeuvrability, further improving on the benchmark standard set by the Tata Nano. The enhanced spaciousness is complemented by redesigned interiors, marked by smooth curves and a high tech yet gentle feel.

To meet the driving needs of its target customers, the Tata Nano Europa will be powered by a 3-cylinder sporty all-aluminium MPFI engine matched with a 5-speed automatic transmission, and electric power steering. The gasoline engine will be class-leading, providing high fuel efficiency and low CO2 emission of less than 100 gm / km meeting the twin goals of being environmentally friendly and stylish – just like the Tata Nano.

The Tata Nano Europa meets all safety regulations. In addition to the all sheet-metal body, its energy absorbing design, use of advanced restraint systems, ABS, ESP and Air Bags will enhance passenger safety.

Just like the Tata Nano, the Tata Nano Europa incorporates exterior compactness with interior comfort and seeks to provide motorists the pleasure and utility of personal mobility combined with affordability and environment-friendliness, in a world where smaller, fuel-efficient cars are emerging as a preferred choice.

About Tata Motors

Tata Motors is India's largest automobile company, with revenues of US$ 8.8 billion in 2007-08. Through subsidiaries and associate companies, Tata Motors has operations in the UK, South Korea, Thailand and Spain. Among them is Jaguar Land Rover, a business comprising the two iconic British brands. It also has a strategic alliance with Fiat. With over 4 million Tata vehicles plying in India, Tata Motors is the country's market leader in commercial vehicles and among the top three in passenger vehicles. It is also the world's fourth largest truck manufacturer and the second largest bus manufacturer. Tata cars, buses and trucks are being marketed in several countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia and South America. (www.tatamotors.com <http://www.tatamotors.com/> )