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Old 5th January 2015, 22:04   #46
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Default Re: Desperately wanted: A Hot Hatch for the Indian enthusiast

We are not a market for even moderately fast hatchbacks, all this talk of a 200 bhp hatchback is just a pipe dream... period! How many 'fast' petrol cars in the mass market can be termed successful? Heck they haven't been successful even in the upper end of the market where fuel efficiency would be less of a concern. Case in point the Volvo S60 T6. Turbo petrol, over 300 bhp, four wheel drive, nice interiors and it is a sales dud even in relation to the sales of its diesel sister.

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Old 5th January 2015, 22:30   #47
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Originally Posted by extreme_torque View Post
We are not a market for even moderately fast hatchbacks, all this talk of a 200 bhp hatchback is just a pipe dream... period! How many 'fast' petrol cars in the mass market can be termed successful? Heck they haven't been successful even in the upper end of the market where fuel efficiency would be less of a concern. Case in point the Volvo S60 T6. Turbo petrol, over 300 bhp, four wheel drive, nice interiors and it is a sales dud even in relation to the sales of its diesel sister.
I will disagree with you on this one. Just because big petrol saloon cars aren't selling well, doesn't mean there is no market for hot hatches.
I really doubt whether the s60 t6 or s80 v8 or any other fast petrol saloon cars sell well in any market outside USA. Remember seeing in top gear that a fast version of the mondeo sells less than an Aston Martin over there in UK.
A lot of factors like the right car, the right manufacturer, the right time, right price, all have to come together for the success of the hot hatch. I mean if a notorious brand like skoda released a fabia 1.8 tsi nobody will care to buy it, other than a handful of people. Because in the eyes of many skoda is a sinking ship. But if somebody like Hyundai or Suzuki set the band rolling and become a success , maybe there is hope for the hot hatch to sell.
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Old 5th January 2015, 23:00   #48
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Default Re: Desperately wanted: A Hot Hatch for the Indian enthusiast

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I will disagree with you on this one. Just because big petrol saloon cars aren't selling well, doesn't mean there is no market for hot hatches.
No what I meant was, even in cars where running costs are less of a concern, performance doesn't sell. There is no hope in hell that a hatchback which looks exactly like its 5 lakh rupee sibling selling at more than twice its price because of its performance oriented petrol engine.

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I really doubt whether the s60 t6 or s80 v8 or any other fast petrol saloon cars sell well in any market outside USA. Remember seeing in top gear that a fast version of the mondeo sells less than an Aston Martin over there in UK.
Let us talk about Indian market only. Juxtaposing any other market for comparison doesn't any sense what so ever so I would not go into that.

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Originally Posted by nakul0888 View Post
A lot of factors like the right car, the right manufacturer, the right time, right price, all have to come together for the success of the hot hatch. I mean if a notorious brand like skoda released a fabia 1.8 tsi nobody will care to buy it, other than a handful of people. Because in the eyes of many skoda is a sinking ship. But if somebody like Hyundai or Suzuki set the band rolling and become a success , maybe there is hope for the hot hatch to sell.
I partly agree with this but you will also agree with the fact the Hyundai and Maruti know the Indian psyche better than any other car maker in India, atleast psyche that will translate into sales and the very fact that they haven't ventured into the hot hatchback category should tell you something? Or does it not?

Last edited by extreme_torque : 5th January 2015 at 23:02.
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Old 5th January 2015, 23:29   #49
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Default Re: Desperately wanted: A Hot Hatch for the Indian enthusiast

Talking about hot hatches, why doesnt Chevy bring in the Sonic Hatch ?? They sell it in the USA and its only marginally costlier than the Beat there. Instead of the vanila Sail/UVA the Sonic would have made sense.

It looks better than anything that the Chevy currently has on sale, expect the Cruze, and it has a Tubro-ed RS variant as well.

Either ways they are not selling anything, at-least they could have experimented.


http://www.chevrolet.com/sonic-small-car.html
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Old 6th January 2015, 00:13   #50
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Originally Posted by extreme_torque View Post
No what I meant was, even in cars where running costs are less of a concern, performance doesn't sell. There is no hope in hell that a hatchback which looks exactly like its 5 lakh rupee sibling selling at more than twice its price because of its performance oriented petrol engine.


Let us talk about Indian market only. Juxtaposing any other market for comparison doesn't any sense what so ever so I would not go into that.


I partly agree with this but you will also agree with the fact the Hyundai and Maruti know the Indian psyche better than any other car maker in India, atleast psyche that will translate into sales and the very fact that they haven't ventured into the hot hatchback category should tell you something? Or does it not?
Well there is certainly signs of changes in our market. Who knew the vw gt twins be so popular.?A decade ago nobody would have believed that an 8.5 lakh Hyundai hatchback would sell in the numbers we are seeing now.There are younger buyers out there who actually test drive cars before they buy them now. It doesn't make any sense saying there never will be hot hatches in India. Maybe the latest 300 bhp power houses like the golf r won't be coming anytime soon. But there is definitely scope for a 140 bhp one.
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Old 6th January 2015, 08:01   #51
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Default Re: Desperately Wanted: A Hot Hatch For The Indian Enthusiast.

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Originally Posted by rahul4321 View Post

Mahindra- if you are listening, please mod a Bolero Camper Gold (Adventure edition and all that jazz) to your heart's content as a market-survey exercise and get the junta's feedback and responses! I am sure you will be in for a pleasant surprise!

That is what I exactly did with the camper. Mahindra has probably too much redtape to launch what exactly customers expect from the marque!!
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Last edited by moralfibre : 6th January 2015 at 08:59. Reason: Trimming quoted post.
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Old 6th January 2015, 08:46   #52
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Default Re: Desperately wanted: A Hot Hatch for the Indian enthusiast

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Again, people willing to plonk 15L for a hatch would be very very few for manufacturers to sit up and take notice of them.
True that. Merc_lover666 said that too. Such projects are never taken up for direct profits. They are for establishing the brand image. E.g., because of having an AMG arm, other cars from the Merc's stable also get notice. Those who don't want the AMG variant go for the non-AMG model. That's one more sale.

Perception matters.

If we have a 200 HP Swift, even the already hot selling Swift can benefit from the Hot Hatch image of the 200 HP Swift.
The Europeans and Americans are beyond their reach for now. An RS division can definitely bridge the gap.

P.S.: I'd buy the Fiesta Hatch if available in India.

Last edited by MaheshY1 : 6th January 2015 at 08:52.
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Old 6th January 2015, 09:53   #53
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Default Re: Desperately wanted: A Hot Hatch for the Indian enthusiast

For majority of Indians, cars are still dreams. Buying a car is a collective decision by the family for 95% of Indians. All their needs have to be taken into account. Even a die-hard enthusiast itching for a 150+ bhp car will have to fore-go his choice for the remaining 4 or 5 in the family.
Car manufacturers clearly know what buyers here need. And they care catering to that. It also shows why Maruti and Hyundai clearly top all sales when it comes to mass market cars.
IMHO, it will take a few years before this matures. Of-course, we will see more GTs and GTIs, however, at present, manufacturers plan only for the near future.
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Old 6th January 2015, 10:49   #54
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Default Re: Desperately wanted: A Hot Hatch for the Indian enthusiast

How about the below one shown at Auto Expo few years back. I am sure this will not get launched but it was there as concept car in 2006 Auto Expo
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Old 6th January 2015, 10:59   #55
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Default Re: Desperately wanted: A Hot Hatch for the Indian enthusiast

ACI reports VW is mulling hotter Polos for India

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Volkswagen is looking at getting some of its sportier hatchbacks to India. It is doing this in an effort to help connect the brand better with car enthusiasts. While earlier there was talk of importing the Golf GT, now VW is also looking further down the price band at sportier derivatives of the Polo. Part of this is because the current version of the Polo GT has done so well, confounding the expectations of the company.

As ever, there’s a choice with VW. It can either choose to import the new 150bhp Polo GT or go the whole hog and bring the seriously quick 189bhp Polo GTI.

Last edited by deetjohn : 6th January 2015 at 11:00. Reason: typo.
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Old 6th January 2015, 11:20   #56
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Default Re: Desperately wanted: A Hot Hatch for the Indian enthusiast

- Tax
I would love to buy the Polo GT-TDI, but the fact that the tax jumps from 12 to 27% makes me think twice. Wish the taxing was considering other aspects as well, maybe in this order:
Volume (Not just length or width), CO2 emissions, safety, engine size

- Engine is not the only component that can make the car a hot hatch.
We need lighter cars, meaning an all aluminium frame (If not a carbon fiber body), which we entirely lack today.
Lower Center of gravity, which would mean, redesigning a lot of our humps
Extra power would mean better suspension, better rubber, better brakes, better cooling. We cannot fit a 200BHP motor onto a current car with Front disks and rear drums.
Sourcing the extra components again mean a little overhead on the manufacturing process, extra shipping costs

- An AMG is sold at such a high premium over the normal models, while the same premium cannot be expected at the lower pricing point
Imagine a 20L premium for an AMG model, but the same at the lower price point would be a burden on the buyer

- Our car manufacturers lack the energy
Can you expect this from Tata, Maruti and Hyundai? I guess no. They are seriously into the volume market.

- No in-house technology, or car companies like the MG or a Caterham for India
When was the last Indian company building cars from scratch?
The San Storm? (1998?)
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Old 6th January 2015, 11:31   #57
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Default Re: Desperately wanted: A Hot Hatch for the Indian enthusiast

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^^ This is excellent news. I had booked a GT TSI a few months ago but cancelled it after I saw an advertisement in the paper celebrating the Polo's 5th Year Anniversary. I did not want a 5 year old car that's not far off from being replaced.

It would be great if VW bring in the new gen Polo with the 1.4 TSI instead of persisting with the current generation. Either way, if the new engine options hit the showrooms, I'm going to put down the booking amount again.
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Old 6th January 2015, 11:51   #58
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Default Re: Desperately wanted: A Hot Hatch for the Indian enthusiast

At least the manufacturers seem to think the Indian market is not ready for a hot hatch yet.

If VW takes the plunge and finds success with Polo GTI, then maybe the others will follow.
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Old 6th January 2015, 12:41   #59
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Default Re: Desperately wanted: A Hot Hatch for the Indian enthusiast

I hope Fiat India's new top boss sees this thread and prioritises Abarth Punto over other products. In the last 10-15 years or so, other manufacturers have been launching competing products soon after Fiat has launched some segment-first features (examples: soon after T-jet Linea came Vento TSI, soon after Blue&Me in Punto came a lot of hatchbacks with bluetooth connectivity). Going by this trend, I won't be surprised if Polo GTI and other performances hatches come soon after Abarth Punto is launched. Of course, Abarth Punto will be a flop by then, but enthusiasts will at least have options!


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- Tax
I would love to buy the Polo GT-TDI, but the fact that the tax jumps from 12 to 27% makes me think twice.
But current Polo GT TDI is still a "small car" by government's definition.
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Old 6th January 2015, 12:45   #60
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Default Re: Desperately wanted: A Hot Hatch for the Indian enthusiast

Hot hatches are ok but where are the hot roads to drive them? In my opinion, safety should be the top priority of manufacturers followed by other things in India which has the highest number of road deaths in the world. We should first improve the driving conditions before we ask for driver's cars..
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