Last week Tata revealed for the first time its groundbreaking Nano minicar, shocking the world with the announcement that the pint-sized runabout's price tag will start as low as 100,000 rupees (roughly $2,500 at exchange rates). This makes it the cheapest car in the world, a fact that has rival carmakers both envious and stumped. How can Tata build and market the car at such a low price when foreign brands can’t even deliver a car at double those prices?

The answer lies in the car’s clean-sheet development and cost-cutting ideas implemented in almost all aspects of its gestation. For example, Tata pitted dozens of suppliers against each other to see which could come up with the lowest cost components, reports Automotive News.

Of course, the Nano also had to miss out on certain features most of us take for granted. For example, the 33hp, 50mpg minicar has just one windshield wiper, no radio, power steering, power windows or air conditioning (although these are available as options), and it rides on wheelbarrow sized 12in wheels with just three lug nuts.

The car’s engine is a marvel of cost cutting on its own. The 624cc two-cylinder petrol engine features just one balance shaft instead of one per cylinder. Germany’s Bosch supplies many of the powertrain’s components. To save costs and weight, Bosch adapted a motorcycle starter motor for the engine and removed 700 of the 1,000 functions of its European-market engine control module for it.

It’s important to note that the $2,500 price is what dealers will be paying for the car. Customers will still have to pay an additional mark-up as well as a 12.5% value-added tax.