Cars I  Wish Were Sold In India – IV

The Third Edition of the Series “Cars I wish were sold in India” where i list out a few cars that are sold globally but not in India, and if they were sold they might have the potential to change the whole car industry of India

I have been posting articles related to this series on the Drive Tribe website this is the fifth edition of this series. I thought I ran out of ideas and maybe there was no need for me to dwell on this matter any further since India gets almost all the high-end luxury cars to supercars that have been bred on the race track.

And in the past few years spotting supercars such as Ferrari 812, Mclaren 720s, Ferrari 488, F8 Tributo, Lamborghini Huracan, Aventador, Mercedes AMG GT, and other exciting cars are no longer a rare occurrence on Indian roads. And leaving us car enthusiasts with little to no reason to be envious of the international market, but, lately, I have been actively following the latest car launches, something in the past that I had little interest in.

Back to the point, some of the recent launches be it the most expensive performance car or the latest cog in the ever-growing compact SUV market, Have made me realize that most of the latest performance models launched in the country are only affordable by the one per cent of the top one per cent of the country.

And the cars that are sold as performance models that are remotely close to being affordable are simply a slightly powerful version of a standard model masked behind a slew of cosmetic upgrades.

This got me thinking we still don’t get the proper fun driving machines that are both affordable and of unadulterated fun. So, I went on the internet to assemble a list of cars that could work in the Indian market and could perform reasonably well on Indian roads.

The first on my List is…

Honda Civic Type R

Honda Civic Type R is no stranger in the performance hot hatch category, it has been a benchmark for the past few years now.

Based on the standard Civic Honda has managed to sauce up the regular Civic with some clever engineering into a track-devouring hatchback. The current Civic Type R is based on the 11th Generation of the standard Civic and has already garnered much appreciation from journalists around the world and is touted to be even better than its Nurburgring lap Record holder – success.

This front-wheel drive maniac is powered by the same turbocharged Inline four as its predecessor but now it’s been dialed up to produce 315 hp which is good enough for a 0-60 mph time of under 5 seconds.

A car like Type R could warrant a heavy premium in India as it is a 44,000 USD in the land of free, so, with the heavy taxation in the country and it would have to be a CBU or through CKD unit, it would come under import tax laws that could just take the price tag to ludicrous as its predecessor looked.

But regardless of its hypothetical price tag, the Honda Civic Type R could be a fine addition to Indian Roads and it will make Honda enthusiasts go Gaga over the brand all over again.

Honda is a brand struggling g to find its relevance in the ever-growing SUV market in India. Civic Type R could be a Halo product that could lure the crowd into its showroom floors and make the brand look more interesting and desirable all over again.

Toyota GT 86

Toyota has been co-producing this sporty coupe for a couple of years now, alongside Subaru which sells it under the BRZ moniker.  it has been well-received all over the world by enthusiasts for the pure driving ecstasy that it offers.

With its unique Boxer engine mated with a manual transmission, it is among the dying breed of cars, which makes it even dearer to the pure enthusiast who still prefers a car that might be down on performance but requires absolute engagement from the driver.

For years now, there have been rumours floating around of a couple that Toyota might launch in India, which raises hopes of all the enthusiasts across the nation. However, with each year passing, Toyota has stuck with its SUVs and rebadged Suzuki’s. But no sign of a GT86 launch anytime soon.

This handsome sports car is powered by a Subaru-developed Boxer engine that produces 200 hp that sends power to the rear wheels, for some traction less fun when needed. And if Toyota decides to launch this sports car in the Indian market it could cost anywhere near the 50,00,000 /- INR mark, and unlike Honda, Toyota already sell vehicles that are over half a crore Indian rupees and it might not have a markup over its regular vehicles.

And just like the Type R, seeing this coupe driving on Indian roads will be something to behold, and also at the price tag that it might demand, it could be a car that would make performance more accessible to the wider consumer.

Hyundai i20 N 

Next on the list is another front-wheel drive Hot hatch originating from the unlikeliest of places – The south Korean Brand – Hyundai Motors. This Hot hatch just like any other hot hatch in history is based on the standard Hyundai i20. But unlike Honda Type R, Hyundai’s engineers were influenced by the motivation of competing in the World Rally stage, and this homologated model has been pretty successful, winning a couple of championships in the last 9 years of its competitive entry.

And when Hyundai N launched the i20N road model under the leadership of a now retired, ex-BMW man Albert Biermann who has been very instrumental in revolutionizing Hyundai and Kia’s driving dynamics and got them to compete with the industry standards, the i20N was critically acclaimed and was said to be on par with hot hatch veterans such as Ford Fiesta and VW Golf GTI.

This rally-bred hot hatch is powered by a 1.6 inline 4 that produces 280 hp which is good enough to send this front-wheel drive hatch from 0-60 mph in 6 seconds, making it one of the fastest Hyundai.

Hyundai already sells an i20 N-Line variant that is faster and more poised around the corners – compared to the standard model. But it is nowhere near the N model which produces 280 hp compared to 120hp of the N-Line. i20N comes equipped with a manual transmission just like the two cars before, and in contrast to the i20 N-Line, i20 N gets a mechanical Limited-slip Differential for precision corner-carving that has been developed at Hyundai Technical Centre located near the Nurburgring Track.

If Hyundai had brought this N model alongside the N-line it would’ve been a great upgrade over the regular N-line variant. And just like the cars in the list, it would have made the performance more accessible to the masses, and a country like India lacks in that particular department and a Car like the i20N would be a breath of fresh air.

The three cars on my list are pure enthusiast cars whose sole function is to cater to their driver’s demands and offer pure unadulterated fun. In the age of lightning-fast Dual Clutch transmission, their manufacturer offers a manual transmission, in a world where Italian and Germans are at war with each other over Horsepower figures that have reached astronomical figures, these cars come with humble horsepower figures from a tiny but reliable source.

And in a price-sensitive consumer nation, these cars still demand a huge premium over what a regular car buyer is willing to shed but over time these cars will be subjected to depreciation and could become affordable.

This means we get more quality cars on the roads and manufacturers and us enthusiasts won’t have to get excited over an SUV that gets a turbo 3 cyl engine that produces 99 hp. And Indian journalists won’t have to sell cars like Fronx and VW cars as performance cars by using superlatives that are best suited to supercars.

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