6 Popular and Cool Cars that never came to India
India is an automotive giant in the making. Producing about 24 million cars every year and growing at 2-3% annually, the market is full of promises for manufacturers. Luxury Cars have also been selling like hot cakes with Lexus also announcing its entry in 2017. But this was not always the case. Until the turn of the new millennium, for various reasons, India was not seen as a destination for fast cars. We have missed out on seeing some beauties on our roads and here is a list of 6 cool cars that never made it to India.
6. NISSAN SILVIA
To start the list, we have the beautiful Nissan Silvia. It was made from 1974 to 2002 during which time, Nissan did not even think of getting it to India. Nissan thought that a 240 HP Rear Wheel Drive Sports car wouldn’t work in India. They could have tried to turn it into a Sedan while retaining the bonkers SR20DET engine and the superb 6-Speed Manual gearbox. It had a superb chassis and a 260 km/h top speed.
5. FIAT 124 SPIDER
Designed by the legendary Pininfarina Designs of Italy, this iconic small car never came to India. The original model was manufactured from 1964 to 1988. A newer version has been unveiled by Fiat, which is also not on the Indian market, but shares nothing with the old car except the name and the engine layout. The old model gets our thumbs up for being a fun small car although it was not a particularly fast car with a 1608 cc engine producing 110 HP.
4. MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION SERIES (I-X)
The Lancer Evolution was a sedan made by Mitsubishi during the period of 1996 to 2016. It may look like a sensible car to most people but beware! As soon as you turn the ignition key, you shall unleash a 400 HP All Wheel Drive monster that will eat your left eyeball for breakfast. Driving an Evo can be intimidating at first but as you slowly tame the beast, you shall be rewarded with huge controlled power slides and the grin on your face shall rival a kid in a candy store. Mitsubishi tried to make up for this great loss by giving us something called the Lancer Cedia which was also a good car but nowhere near its big brother. Unfortunately, this car, with a turbo the size of Tokyo, was discontinued last year.
3. SUZUKI CAPPUCCINO
This tiny pocket rocket was made by Suzuki from 1991 to 1997. It only had 64 HP coming from a tiny 660cc engine and weighed an extremely light 700 kg. The lightness combined with the power output gives it the same power to weight ratio as a 1964 Ferrari Dino. It was launched only in the European, American, Australasian and Japanese markets. It had exceptional handling and a well-spaced manual gearbox.
2. TOYOTA MR2
The Toyota MR2 was a Mid-Engined, Rear Wheel Drive, 2 Seat coupe manufactured from 1984 to 2007 and sold almost everywhere except the Indian subcontinent. It was compact, light and sporty with a 1.6 l four cylinder engine.
At this point of time in India, Toyota was busy launching the Qualis alongside the Corolla and Camry Mk 3 – detect a pattern there? Why Toyota? Why didn’t you bring this gem to India?
1. HONDA S2000
Finally, we come to the great Honda S2000. Number one on this list and our personal favourite. It was a great success in the markets of Japan, Europe and America. The Honda 2000 was manufactured from 1997 to 2007. It had the unmistakable Honda VTEC engine which produced 250 HP transmitted to the rear wheels through a Six-Speed manual Gearbox. What was Honda doing in India at this time? Well, they were busy at work trying to put together the City ZX – a great car but nowhere as cool as the S2000.
Well, there you have it. A list of some of the best pocket friendly and fast cars the world has ever seen. As you may have detected, most of these cars are Japanese, that is because no other country in the world does fast and frugal cars better than Japan.