The $2,500 Tata Nano has passed European front and side impact crash tests, an important step in expanding sales of the tiny Indian city car to Europe and, possibly, North America.

The test took place at England's MIRA vehicle research center under the supervision of that country's Vehicle Certification Authority. While more testing must presumably be carried out in order to make European sales legal , Tata itself plans to subject the vehicle to the tough Euro NCAP tests. This is a clear indication the company's plans to enter Europe are grounded in reality.

The MIRA tests were conducted at 35mph, a speed much higher than that required by Indian authorities. Tata is hard at work developing an up-spec'd version of the Nano suitable for snooty Western pallets. Even with beefed up impact protection and more interior amenities, it's thought that the Nano will still undercut every other car in the European market.

Ratan Tata, the charismatic founder of the company, has said he wants to sell the Nano in the US. While that still appears to be a long way from becoming reality these successful tests lend that dream an air of possibility. [via Autocar]