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economy car

n. A car - usually small and lightweight - designed for low-cost operation

Economy car

An economy car is an automobile that is designed for low cost purchase and operation. Typical economy cars are small, lightweight, and inexpensive to buy. Economy car designers are forced by stringent design constraints to be inventive. Many innovations in automobile design were originally developed for economy cars, such as the Ford Model T and the Austin Mini. Gordon Murray, the Formula 1 and Mclaren F1 designer, said when designing his new Murray T.25 city car: "I would say that building a car to sell for six thousand pounds and designing that for a high volume production, where you have all the quality issues under control is a hundred times more difficult than designing a Mclaren F1, or even a racing car. It is certainly the biggest challenge I've ever had from a design point of view." The alternative approach other than innovating to build a low cost car, is build a stripped down no frills version of a conventional car.