Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > The Indian Car Scene


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 3rd January 2015, 11:50   #1
BHPian
 
Merc_lover666's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 82
Thanked: 134 Times
Default Desperately wanted: A Hot Hatch for the Indian enthusiast

I do not know if this has been ever discussed before on this Forum. However at the cost of sounding repetitive I would like to stress that the Indian economy now in 2015 is one of the largest economies in the world and that too with majority of the population being under 35 we are a young country.

Also, with automotive awareness increasing due to various car shows on television, automobile publications like Autocar, Overdrive and Top Gear having an ever growing number of loyal leaders and most importantly online forums like Team BHP are seeding a new legion of enthusiasts practically everyday.

However as on today there is no real choice for the Indian enthusiast who wants a stock car, which is really and seriously fast...scary fast I mean but not with all the hassles involved in going for a costly Mod, which let me add comes with it's own set of perils in terms of reliability issues and living day to day with the car after the mods are done. I had a swift with a turbo install done from Red Rooster and was not altogether happy with the output in terms of performance and reliability, so I sold the car within a year of getting the mod done.

In case of a stock car there would be no issues with a void warranty, after sales service and maintenance, and the over all ownership would be much more easier experience. Needless to say the most important point being the car will be absolutely road legal. Also there shall be no issues related to availability of parts.

Manufacturers like our own Maruti Suzuki (India) have excellent cars like the swift that can be easily transformed into a serious hot hatch with minimal changes. Only if they plonk in a 1.6 or 1.8 litre turbocharged Petrol engine, with a new ECU, Injectors and Air Intake System and upgrade the dampers, brakes and tyres and of course add the necessary safety equipment like ABS, EBD and Air Bags, we could have a car with something like 200 BHP and at an approximate price point of 15 lakhs or may be even less on road. Guys just imagine a 200 HP hatch weighing under a 1000 kilos and for around 15 lakhs or less on road. Is it not time that a company like Maruti had it's own tuning arm like the AMG'S, Brabus, Mugen's, TRD's of the world. Hell even Volvo have Polestar.

If there is a Swift RS or some thing to that effect that Maruti launches with the above specs in the Indian market, then I am reasonably sure there are a few thousand people in India who will line up to buy such a hot hatch and make the whole project viable for Maruti. What a company like Maruti needs to understand is that the aim for them will not be the profits they could make by selling these hot hatches but just imagine the boost that the already sporty image of the swift will get not only in India but world wide as Maruti could use India as a base to export these cars to the evolved markets, where there is a huge demand for such hot hatches and it is an independent segment of its own in countries within Europe.

I would like to remind people of what the Evo did for the sales of the Lancer in India, when it was launched. Similarly such a project would add a whole new dimension to the desirability of the Swift and the Dzire. Also the 1.6 stock petrol engine could be very well used in the bigger cars like the Ertiga, Ciaz and the about to be launched S-Cross, which are all using the seriously under powered 1.4 Petrol K-Series Engine.

Coming back to reality, we need the Indian automobile companies to sit up and take notice of the sales of the recently launched models like the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI etc., which are not really hot hot hatches if you know what I mean, but they still got a very good reception from the poor power hungry Indian consumer. Wake up Indian companies, and I seriously hope a truly Indian company like Maruti should perhaps get their act togather, pull themselves out of the easy chair and start this altogether new segment of sorts in India and capitalize on the huge image boost it will provide.

Request all Team BHP members to make this big enough so perhaps it could reach the ears of somebody, who can do something about this.
Merc_lover666 is offline   (29) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd January 2015, 12:54   #2
BHPian
 
deathwalkr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Trivandrum
Posts: 620
Thanked: 425 Times
Default re: Desperately wanted: A Hot Hatch for the Indian enthusiast

Such cries often get drowned amidst cries for mileage and cost. They take precedence over enthusiast's needs for speed and fun.

But what did the evo do for the lancer here in india? Curious.

We live in a country where manufacturers launch "sports" models which are anything but sporty. Throw in some chrome, alloys, stickers and voila we have the sports model! Sigh.

Again, people willing to plonk 15L for a hatch would be very very few for manufacturers to sit up and take notice of them.

Forget hatchbacks, heck we don't get sedans with power and fun in mind.
deathwalkr is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd January 2015, 13:26   #3
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: MUMBAI
Posts: 3,059
Thanked: 4,611 Times
Default re: Desperately wanted: A Hot Hatch for the Indian enthusiast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merc_lover666 View Post
I do not know if this has been ever discussed before on this Forum. However at the cost of sounding repetitive I would like to stress that the Indian economy now in 2015 is one of the largest economies in the world and that too with majority of the population being under 35 we are a young country.
Dear Merc_lover666 - I completely agree with you, we are a young country and if the success of the GT TSI and the GT TDI is anything to go by (I saw the GT TDI and I did not buy it as it did not have sporty interiors, I wanted a bright red car or a dark grey car with all black interiors with red or grey stitching, biege put me off, biege does not denote sportiness), there is a fantastic window of opportunity here. If done correctly, this thingy should sell and make money, period! "If done correctly" denotes many things, technical as well as "otherwise". By "otherwise" I mean people first listening to customer intent and then actually doing something about it! What is required is an irrestible business case, justifying "Low Volume Manufacturing Business Model" (including parts development and homologation) to get moving! .

On a similar topic, there is another window of opportunity in the lifestyle 4WD crew-cab pickup mindspace as well. This is not yet exploited, the sales figures are woefully short of what they could be if this thingy was really pursued. There are many genuine reasons (including legal reasons) but they only tell why something could not be done.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar

Last edited by GTO : 3rd January 2015 at 18:07. Reason: Shortening long quote :)
DHABHAR.BEHRAM is offline   (18) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd January 2015, 13:42   #4
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 12
Thanked: 7 Times
Default re: Desperately Wanted: A Hot Hatch For The Indian Enthusiast. GTO check please.

Well said Merc_lover666 and with the average age of the Indian coming down soon we ought to see more such cars as you have described.

However, what I can make out about the auto manufacturers in India is that they are very cautious and move in only when they are quite sure that they will meet their numbers. After all those guys are also doing a 'job' and they would not like to risk even the slightest error in forecasting volumes and not meeting their targets. More so when they are reporting to their bosses in Germany, Japan, US and other countries. Not to critisize them and only to explain my point, but most of the foreign bosses have a set thinking and it is difficult to change it easily.

There is more awareness about India now thanks to the internet but until a decade ago they used to think that they will see elephants and horses when they land in India( I have personally been told so by some of my foreign clients)!

Another thing about them is that manufacturers like to chase ideas for very high volume cars like an i10, Swift etc so that they are safe with their revenues and will not have to push sales too much. Even when they introduce new models they will resemble the older models in popular features and characteristics.

Lastly, there is a stigma against cars that give a low mileage - it is almost as though it will affect the 'mileage reputation' of the company!

Majority always wins especially in India and we guys are still a miniscule minority.
Tarrodie is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd January 2015, 13:44   #5
BHPian
 
prakhar1998's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 287
Thanked: 493 Times
Default re: Desperately wanted: A Hot Hatch for the Indian enthusiast

I really don't understand why Ford doesn't launch the Focus in India. Its such a wonderful vehicle, and alongside they can launch ST which is one of the (if not the) best hot hatch one can buy. Considering the Focus costs ~12-15 lakh in UK, which is similar to the polo, I am sure they can bring the price in line with the Indian polo.

Do they not realise the trend, India as a market is getting more sensible; cars as expensive as the Elite i20 are setting the charts on fire, I am sure the Focus would sell well too.

Also, if Renault is serious about India, they should launch their international products here, not just the ones made by their cheap counterpart Dacia. Cars like the Clio, Megane can and will do well in the Indian market. Both Clio and Megane have hot hatchback versions and can easily be priced this side of 18 lakh.

Even though VW have introduced the GT models, the real deal would be if VW brings in the Polo & Golf GTi to India. Both cars with the 1.8 TSI are such a hoot to drive, and provided that engine is fairly common in India, localisation and set up problems can be easily avoided too.

I think companies like VW, Renault, Fiat, Ford are struggling because of their laid back approach towards the Indian market, with such few new launches.

They probably don't understand that companies like Maruti & Hyundai are leading the market because of their aggressive strategies towards launching new cars and active marketing campaigns.

Hyundai has added more vehicles in the last two years that VW has had in its whole portfolio.

Last edited by prakhar1998 : 3rd January 2015 at 14:02.
prakhar1998 is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd January 2015, 13:59   #6
Senior - BHPian
 
1100D's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Calcutta
Posts: 4,160
Thanked: 2,279 Times
Default Re: Desperately Wanted: A Hot Hatch For The Indian Enthusiast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merc_lover666 View Post
Manufacturers like our own Maruti Suzuki (India) have excellent cars like the swift that can be easily transformed into a serious hot hatch with minimal changes. Only if they plonk in a 1.6 or 1.8 litre turbocharged Petrol engine, with a new ECU, Injectors and Air Intake System and upgrade the dampers, brakes and tyres and of course add the necessary safety equipment like ABS, EBD and Air Bags, we could have a car with something like 200 BHP and at an approximate price point of 15 lakhs
Why set the pricetag? And that too at 15 Lakhs. Not too long ago, there was a company called FIAT, and they used to sell a contraption called the 1.6 GTX, how much did it cost? Then there was the Chevrolet Optra SRV (Though much lower on Performance and dynamics than the GTX).

The criteria now will be to offer performance without jacking up the prices disproportionately. At 15 lakhs, it will be quite close to a Niche hatch with a Rear wheel drive layout.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
On a similar topic, there is another window of opportunity in the lifestyle 4WD crew-cab pickup mindspace as well. This is not yet exploited, the sales figures are woefully short of what they could be if this thingy was really pursued. There are many genuine reasons (including legal reasons) but they only tell why something could not be done.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
Well doesn't both the companies you are referring to have already tried that route and failed mostly, the Telcoline first and then the Zenon, on the otherside of the fence, there was the fabulous Bolero-Camper and the Scorpio Getaway.

But has anyone analysed why those do not work as much, even with the enthusiasts, people who drool over them each time they see one. Has anyone analysed why is it working for the Thar?

Thankfully for the Zenon, they are seeing some numbers for it after it went out-and-out commercial.

Anyway, this is off topic for a Hot-hatch thread
1100D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd January 2015, 14:30   #7
BHPian
 
Motormania's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Roaming!
Posts: 218
Thanked: 101 Times
Default re: Desperately wanted: A Hot Hatch for the Indian enthusiast

At a time when I am looking for a vehicle for myself, I so wish I could lay my hands on a 1.6 or 1.8 L hatch.

On the other hand I totally drool over the Tata Xenon XT! A black one with A/T tyres, roll cage makes for a perfect getaway adventure vehicle!
Motormania is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd January 2015, 14:37   #8
BHPian
 
Merc_lover666's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 82
Thanked: 134 Times
Default re: Desperately wanted: A Hot Hatch for the Indian enthusiast

Quote:
Why set the pricetag? And that too at 15 Lakhs. Not too long ago, there was a company called FIAT, and they used to sell a contraption called the 1.6 GTX, how much did it cost? Then there was the Chevrolet Optra SRV (Though much lower on Performance and dynamics than the GTX).

The criteria now will be to offer performance without jacking up the prices disproportionately. At 15 lakhs, it will be quite close to a Niche hatch with a Rear wheel drive layout.
Just to explain what I mean more clearly, both of the above cars were not out and out performance machines and would never be eyed by a true blue enthusiast, What FIAT and Chevrolet tried to do was pass over mediocre products as performance machines and the people called their bluff. However I was talking about something that belts out 200 Pure Horses with an unladen weight of under 1000 kgs, and not a punny 100 odd BHP, with a weight of around 1200-1300 kgs.

No offence to you though...Cheers!
Merc_lover666 is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd January 2015, 14:38   #9
Team-BHP Support
 
Akshay1234's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 9,712
Thanked: 6,214 Times
Default re: Desperately wanted: A Hot Hatch for the Indian enthusiast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merc_lover666 View Post

If there is a Swift RS or some thing to that effect that Maruti launches with the above specs in the Indian market
Aah but there is a Swift RS
Name:  marutisuzukiswiftrs.jpg
Views: 17687
Size:  52.1 KB

Sorry for the OT post.
Akshay1234 is offline   (7) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd January 2015, 14:39   #10
BHPian
 
Merc_lover666's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 82
Thanked: 134 Times
Default re: Desperately wanted: A Hot Hatch for the Indian enthusiast

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
Aah but there is a Swift RS
Akshay1234 - I am not talking about the show but the GO bro!

Last edited by manson : 3rd January 2015 at 14:52. Reason: Fixed quote.
Merc_lover666 is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd January 2015, 15:39   #11
BHPian
 
Octane_Power's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 625
Thanked: 399 Times
Default re: Desperately wanted: A Hot Hatch for the Indian enthusiast

I can see that the OP comes directly from the heart of an enthusiast

I am not asking for a long list of such cars to be sold but I wish we atleast had cars like the Swift Sport, VW Golf GTi, Ford Focus ST to choose from. Naming these three because the companies have their foot set in India quite firmly and launching these models won't be that difficult for them as compared to new entrants like Vauxhall and Subaru.

I mean, just google these cars, its high time we had such beauties on our roads as well. And the most important thing, we don't need de-tuned versions. We need the full-blown version which is available internationally.

-Bhargav

Last edited by GTO : 3rd January 2015 at 18:09. Reason: No SMS language on Team-BHP please
Octane_Power is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd January 2015, 18:21   #12
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 46,870
Thanked: 82,474 Times
Default Re: Desperately wanted: A Hot Hatch for the Indian enthusiast

I personally don't understand why I've to spend 20 lakhs to get 180 BHP. Why can't I have that kind of power in something smaller, more chuckable and immensely more fun?

That said, I think the time for hot hatches is slowly & steadily coming. The demand for the Polo GT TSI & TDI twins has left even VW surprised. Other manufacturers have made note of this development.

Manufacturers are going to carve out new niches for themselves. In 5 years perhaps, we'll have some choice with hot hatches.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deathwalkr View Post
But what did the evo do for the lancer here in india? Curious.
The EVO X was destined to fail. Exorbitantly priced at 60 lakhs OTR, ridiculous 6 month warranty, dead steering, nowhere as fierce as the earlier EVOs and backed by a pathetic company. Hardly a case study.

Quote:
Again, people willing to plonk 15L for a hatch would be very very few for manufacturers to sit up and take notice of them.
I think 10 - 12 lakhs for a turbo 1.8 - 2.0L hatchback is a doable price point.

No, there won't be volume, but then, how many units do 15 lakh sedans sell? Last month, the Cruze did 70, and the Jetta & Octavia merely 100. That doesn't stop manufacturers from offering D1 segment sedans, does it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
and they used to sell a contraption called the 1.6 GTX
If you ask me, the Palio 1.6 GTX was ahead of its time. Still, nightmares from its time kept Fiat from offering the Punto 1.4L T-Jet or Ford the Figo 1.6 (even though they had the engines ready!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motormania View Post
On the other hand I totally drool over the Tata Xenon XT! A black one with A/T tyres, roll cage makes for a perfect getaway adventure vehicle!
Or the Isuzu D-Max?
GTO is offline   (6) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd January 2015, 18:31   #13
BHPian
 
deathwalkr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Trivandrum
Posts: 620
Thanked: 425 Times
Default Re: Desperately wanted: A Hot Hatch for the Indian enthusiast

@GTO: 10L for a 180bhp hatch would be tremendous. But can we expect something like that from any manufacturer today? Heck we don't even have sedans in that price or above pumping out so many horses.

OP had made a point saying Evo helped mitsu sell more lancers or that was what i understood. Did that happen? I don't think so but wanted to be sure.

For us anything above 100bhp is a powerful car or so the marketers of car companies would have us believe.

I don't know if and when this will happen but if it does i want one

[Don't know how i will drive it in kerala though]
deathwalkr is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd January 2015, 18:41   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Delhi
Posts: 2,956
Thanked: 5,882 Times
Default

I have never been much into these hot hatches. I never understood what the fun of cramming a powerful engine in what is essentially a small ass car. You might go fast, but you re still cramped as hell.

Anyway, we are on our annual home visit back to the Netherlands and my eldest son has just bought a 2005 Volkswagen Golf GTI. It's also chipped and God knows what they did to the suspension, because it has none. But it goes like stink! We took it out on Christmas morning when there was nobody around and gave it some stick! This thing is seriously fast. On the straights my Jaguar could easily outrun it, but through the corner it was no contest, thanks to its sport suspension.

For better or for worse it is still a Golf, so you can actually take four adults and some luggage in decent comfort, except that the ride is so harsh. He bought it of a good friend of him, who has looked after it really well. These GTIs are often pretty much run down. This one still felt very tight, not a rattle. Couple of little electrical/electronic problems only. (CEL, airbag light) Hooked her up to my OBD analyzer and managed to sort it all in half an hour.

So these hot hatches can certainly be a blast to drive, not sure I would want one as a daily drive. At least you want some more comfort, at least I do.

Jeroen
Jeroen is offline   (9) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd January 2015, 18:42   #15
BHPian
 
pixantz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 527
Thanked: 601 Times
Default Re: Desperately wanted: A Hot Hatch for the Indian enthusiast

Post deleted by the Team-BHP Support : Please do NOT post messages that add little or no informational value to the thread. We need your co-operation to maintain the quality of this forum.

Please read our rules before proceeding any further. We request you to post ONLY when you have something substantial to add to a discussion.

Last edited by GTO : 5th January 2015 at 15:26.
pixantz is offline   Reply With Quote Received Infraction
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
From a hot hatch to a HOTTER hatch : A pre-worshipped '02 Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX swiftnfurious Long-Term Ownership Reviews 70 13th July 2017 10:35
My Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI: An Enthusiast's Hatch anuragbagur Long-Term Ownership Reviews 13 20th January 2016 18:48
Hot Hatch Wanted - 40 Lakh Budget. UPDATE: Mini Cooper S booked! msbehave Luxury, Imports & Niche 107 4th August 2013 15:26
A newbie desperately waitin to post his new car pics nishant.anand Introduce yourself 16 27th November 2006 14:42
Advice Needed Desperately Vish_Janu Modifications & Accessories 3 16th July 2006 01:49


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 10:53.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks