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Old 16th June 2020, 19:55   #31
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Default Re: Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister

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Originally Posted by utkarshbansal View Post
As for the President, the Presidentís Secretariat takes this decision. This includes Presidentís Secretary, Military Secretary to the President, Jt. Sec, Jt. CP etc etc. They do consider spec sheets, and theyíve got security advisors and experts. They serve at the pleasure of the President. Hence, he is always kept in the loop for spec ups (interior trims, etc.).
Same goes for SPG; they serve at the pleasure of the PM. Hence, he is the one who decides and specs his car and offices and what not according to personal tastes. Security personals are there for advice and assurance.

I think, President and Prime Minister are not very considered as to what vehicle to use, and they just follow what is recommended to them. Minor tweaks are done according to their liking, for example, interior colours, or some gizmos.
Firstly, thank you for the interesting information.

So, it is essentially the PM and not the SPG, who actually decides what car he should ride in. The SPG basically gets the car prepared with the required safety & security equipment.

Then, I think there is a larger chance that we can get to see our PM officially riding in our own indigenous car. If it is a department, then there are so many formalities, but if it is one person, then he is the only one who has to take a decision.

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Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
Due to indirect ownership, maybe that why the PM uses a Range Rover, its too late to use a Ssangyong now
You can say that, just for the sake of saying it. But I don't think that was the intention behind using a Range Rover. If it was, then I feel, they would have chosen a Jaguar over the BMW.

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Originally Posted by zaheermk View Post
I think making a state car fulfilling the SPG's conditions is not a big challenge for the present gen Tata or Mahindra. More than the technical capability of the manufacturer, it requires guts and glory by the PMO and/or SPG to put forward such a demand/requirement! I also realize, for me to sit here and say that is easy, to take such a decision after analyzing each and every step is another matter altogether.
Still, I feel, for the betterment of the country, the SPG should put in that effort to analyze the specifications & security of such a car (from both our home-grown car manufacturers), give instructions to spruce up wherever required and finally come up with getting a car built, that fits all their requirement. And I wish the PMO/SPG comes forward to use such indigenously designed/tested/manufactured car(s) for the PM and eventually, other top Govt. officials, including the President, follows the 'rule' of using our own cars as their state cars.
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Old 16th June 2020, 20:33   #32
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Default Re: Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister

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Originally Posted by DicKy View Post

Motor Garage.
Has a definite old school British feel to the name. Almost James Bond novel like.
Motor Garage you say? Wanna see how the building structure looks? I particularly love the typeface.
Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-whatsapp-image-20200616-3.41.11-pm.jpeg

Fun fact: This place used to be stable for horses(PBG). At a later point in time, it got converted as such.

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post

I suspect these are all low mileage cars. So it seems to be Tata-JLR cum BMW for the PM and Mercs for the President.
As far as my knowledge goes, and this knowledge is based on my interactions with the people in charge, the limo returns somewhere around 5-6 kmpl, and the normal Pullmans return somewhere around 7-8 kmpl.

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Originally Posted by SJM1214 View Post

I am going to use this information to brag in front of my friends and family.
By all means.

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Originally Posted by ajmat View Post

As for the low mileage, if I am right, the cars are kept idling while on duty in order to be deployed at a moments notice during a situation. Hence 40k km might look low but hours idling might be higher than normal.

Does the President use a "normal" car for any personal use. i.e if he wants to visit someone on a night off without the pomp, how does he travel discreetly. He cannot lose the security no doubt.
Not exactly. The cars are in an idle state for a long time, true, but yes, their engines are turned off once the VIP is in a secure confinement. If something happens, these cars are supposed to work. This is why so much money is spent over these, they certainly have robust mechanisms, and some backup systems in place.

As for normal cars, no. For internal movements in Rashtrapati Bhavan, for example, to the polo ground, or to RBCC, he uses the normal-sized Pullman. And for the rest of the jobs, limo is equipped. Also, since limo cannot go everywhere, hence, the smaller vehicles.


One of the questions I came across was, why not a desi car. Well, I'll tell you how this system works. Once any random product is selected, and it serves the purpose, officials really don't bother changing those. For example, Merc, it's tested, specced, equipped and has been in use for quite some time now, so this automatically becomes the choice for the next iteration, unless there exists a requirement which is not fulfilled by the currently available model. This does not mean, Prez cannot roll in a BMW, or in a desi car, it's just that, if the purpose is being solved, why try something entirely new. The tech team, and the chauffeur, they are already trained over a particular product. It's just convenience, rather than nitpick on car brands.
Also, reliability is a key factor when these vehicles are chosen upon.

Since I mentioned horses so many times in this thread, well they belong to PBG.
I'd like to attach a few pictures for you guys to see how beautiful they look.
Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-screenshot-20200616-8.09.14-pm.png
Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-screenshot-20200616-8.09.22-pm.png
Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-screenshot-20200616-8.09.46-pm.png

Bonus Pictures:

This is the Retreat, Shimla, where the office of The President operates from in summers.
Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-screenshot-20200616-8.21.53-pm.jpg
Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-screenshot-20200616-8.22.13-pm.jpg

If you peek towards the North East side from the President's Bedroom, you will see:
Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-screenshot-20200616-8.10.33-pm.png
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Old 17th June 2020, 09:48   #33
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Default Re: Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister

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Originally Posted by utkarshbansal View Post
Hello everybody
I recently joined this team, and right before joining, I came across the presidential cars thread.
I feel I am equipped to answer some of your questions there, as my father, he works for the president. At occasions, I have had a few interactions with the Superintendent of the Motor Garage (aka the person responsible for the whole presidential convoy).
That's a very informative post indeed Utkarsh. I have a few questions for you.

1. How many chauffeurs does the President have in all (for the Presidential car) and at what age do they retire?
2. If the Presidential car has a problem, how quickly is it mended and back on the road?
3. If something is to go really wrong and the car is rendered unusable, then what happens? Is there a similar spec backup car ready till Mercedes builds a new one?
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Old 17th June 2020, 10:58   #34
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Default Re: Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister

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Originally Posted by utkarshbansal View Post
7. These cars are not moved from there place until the engine reaches it's optimum running temp. This means, the cars remain covered in their garages and warmed up idling, with all the exhaust fans running.
It looks like they follow best engineering practices, like warming up the engine till they reach operating temperature, which is actually being followed in engine test labs, before the max. performance is measured. This practice, as we all know, minimises the undesired wear and tear of these engines. And I think I also read in your post that the engines are kept running, even after reaching the garage, till the PM/Prez goes and reaches inside his quarters. Which aids cooling down the engines properly. Again as what is being followed in engine test labs. Did they read Team-BHP articles for these standard operating procedures?

Quote:
Originally Posted by utkarshbansal View Post
One of the questions I came across was, why not a desi car. Well, I'll tell you how this system works. Once any random product is selected, and it serves the purpose, officials really don't bother changing those. For example, Merc, it's tested, specced, equipped and has been in use for quite some time now, so this automatically becomes the choice for the next iteration, unless there exists a requirement which is not fulfilled by the currently available model. This does not mean, Prez cannot roll in a BMW, or in a desi car, it's just that, if the purpose is being solved, why try something entirely new. The tech team, and the chauffeur, they are already trained over a particular product. It's just convenience, rather than nitpick on car brands.
It seems we are back to square one. From your earlier post, I had thought the PM had the full control to decide what car he wants to ride in, and the SPG had the responsibility to get that car model fully prepared for the PM to ride in. But now, from your above para, it looks like, even if the PM asked for a specific car, the SPG would coax him to go for the tried and tested earlier car model. Typical Indian 'chalta hai' attitude combined with the "If it ain't broken, don't fix it" mentality!
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Old 19th June 2020, 18:16   #35
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Default Re: Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister

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Originally Posted by utkarshbansal View Post
Motor Garage you say?
Thanks a ton for your contributions. It was great to get an insiders insight. I'd heard of the Shimla retreat but it's nice to see the photos, very quaint.

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Originally Posted by zaheermk View Post
Typical Indian 'chalta hai' attitude combined with the "If it ain't broken, don't fix it" mentality!
Well I wouldn't put it squarely on the Indian mentality. I think if you look back through executive transport historically, given the safety margin or shall I say the imperative for next to no failure, organisations charged with the procurement and operation of the platform tend to stick with known quantities. The Mercedes Pullman Guard series is the de facto executive transport for a reason, be it for Western leaders, or despots (take Kim in DPRK, smuggling in his ride). Buyers know that when they get that Pullman Guard, you're tapping into engineering and operational knowhow that goes back decades, not to mention the enormous base of customer feedback those Mercedes teams will have had over the years. You can bet they have detailed notes on how their vehicles operate from Central Africa, to urban Europe and Asia. You know that they'll likely have excellent shock testing protocols.

Sure I'd love to see the use of a platform with a more tangible Indian connection, the easiest being using a JLR Sentinel platform.
I suppose you could boil it down simply to the question of what is worth more: the optics of a domestic vehicle vs the intangible risk there might be in using something unproven? If the former outweighs the latter, then voila, you'll soon thereafter see an Indian leader rolling on an Indian whip.

And for the admirable sentiment from Mr Mahindra I'd rather not have their styling department come anywhere near a state vehicle, they tend to be polarising to put it mildly..
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Old 19th June 2020, 20:27   #36
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Default Re: Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister

President's W140 S600 Pullman. Note that V12 badge and those gorgeous alloys.

Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-s600.jpg


2004 Republic Day, another W140. It is a different one because normal alloys and no V12, so maybe just a stretch version? Note W126 in the background.

Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-v12.jpg

Last edited by avishar : 19th June 2020 at 20:35.
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Old 19th June 2020, 20:51   #37
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Here's an interesting state car, a Tata Sierra! Images taken from 1995 Republic Day footage, so PV Narasimha Rao is the PM.


Look at the entry Rohit Shetty style with SPG's hanging off Tata Sumos!

Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-s600.jpg

Nice glass area, good view.

Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-tatasierra.jpg

Don't miss this Ambulance? Jammer? W124 based support car.

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Another view. The glass area obviously seems to be bullet proof glass.

Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-pvrao.jpg


A certainly a less dignified clamber getting out of the back seat of a Sierra than say an Ambassador.

Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-pvr.jpg


Source:
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Old 19th June 2020, 21:14   #38
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Default Re: Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister

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Originally Posted by avishar View Post
Here's an interesting state car, a Tata Sierra! Images taken from 1995 Republic Day footage, so PV Narasimha Rao is the PM.
That is a heavily modified Sierra.

Quote:
Nice glass area, good view.
Security forces around the world normally avoid vehicles with high glass areas to carry state leaders/VVIPs.

Quote:
A certainly a less dignified clamber getting out of the back seat of a Sierra than say an Ambassador.
I find it bit bizarre that the SPG choose a two door Sierra as PM's vehicle. Didn't they feel awkward for the VIP to arrive and then squeeze through behind the front seat.

And what if there is an emergency evacuation? The only option for the PM is to get in the front seat and leave without any guards in the car.

In my opinion, a modified Tata Estate would have done the job better.
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Old 19th June 2020, 22:52   #39
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Default Re: Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister

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Originally Posted by avishar View Post
Here's an interesting state car, a Tata Sierra!
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Originally Posted by Flyer View Post
That is a heavily modified Sierra.
Security forces around the world normally avoid vehicles with high glass areas to carry state leaders/VVIPs.
Wow, this really is a left field option! Having said that, the famous glass house of the Sierra to me would strike me as something more akin to the Popemobile, whatever the iteration. Essentially something with a big old glass display cabinet mounted on the rear with his holiness to wave at the crowds from. Pope Francis however has reverted to a humble Fiat Panda or such like, all in keeping with his more austere take on the papacy.

Also to me it looks like the PM wasn't clambering out the back, he was just sat up front (21 minute mark on the video and 23 minute mark when he gets out). Now if he had to wait for someone to lower the front seat before clambering out, then for sure that would've been less than ideal. Also looks like there was only one rear seat, the agent in the back just was on his haunches on the boot essentially because he launched out the back door as soon as the car rolled to halt.

That strange W124 based vehicle seems to have an domed appendage on the roof though not the other myriad antennae you see on other signal jamming vehicles in a motorcade. Those cars tend to look like a veritable hedgehog with all the protruding antennae.

I wonder what other interesting rides Indian PMs and Presidents have used.

Last edited by ads11 : 19th June 2020 at 23:00.
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Old 20th June 2020, 05:51   #40
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Default Re: Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister

Was that Sierra a personal vehicle of someone by any chance ? Its having AP9 plates (AndhraPradhesh) so I have a feeling that it was probably a temporary arrangement.

Its unlikely that SPG would have chosen Tata Sierra as a regular vehicle for the PM knowing the problems it already had. Add to it the bullet proofing and the weight it would have to carry. Or maybe I am completely incorrect
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Old 20th June 2020, 14:47   #41
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Do these vehile use normal fuel or high octane one?
And there must be some pumping station inside the President Estate?

What about Cars of Prime Minister?
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Old 20th June 2020, 23:02   #42
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What if the PM has to travel to off-road areas? Does the convoy include any proper 4x4 steeds with considerable GC, approach and departure angles etc? I know there's very less probability of going off-road, and he may even use a helicopter. But not all places are accessable by a helicopter (landing problems).
Or, does he go to such places at all?
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Old 21st June 2020, 01:09   #43
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Spent somemore time trawling through older footage.

Here is the first one, a beautiful set of cars. Would be helpful if someone could ID them, the Cadillac Series 62 (?) is probably our first Presidential car. This is from the 1969 Republic Day Parade.

Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-v12.jpg


Even older, maybe a Republic Day during the 50s. Nehru picked up his guest at the airport and then whisked him away in this stunning Rolls Royce!

Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-pvrao.jpg


The W221 S600 Pullman.

Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-pvr.jpg



And a sneak peek into the interiors!

Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-jammer.jpg



Some not so common cars, like this white W140.

Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-tatasierra.jpg


I could only find this clip of the E38 7-series, possibly the first big upgrade from the Ambassadors!

Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-7series.jpg



The old and the new (for then) W126 and W140.

Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-w126.jpg



Other than these, there seems to be a deep pool of guest cars. Check out this normal wheelbase S600 W221!

Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-w222.jpg


Or this plain jane W220.

Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-w221.jpg


Back when BMWs used to rule

Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-p2-hf24.jpg


And lastly here is Rajiv Gandhi driving his Range Rover.

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Old 21st June 2020, 14:50   #44
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Originally Posted by Aditya View Post

1. How many chauffeurs does the President have in all (for the Presidential car) and at what age do they retire?
2. If the Presidential car has a problem, how quickly is it mended and back on the road?
3. If something is to go really wrong and the car is rendered unusable, then what happens? Is there a similar spec backup car ready till Mercedes builds a new one?
1. I don't have an exact number for this. But three is the number that I know precisely of. For the most part, the President's travel is planned well in advance. I am talking about a period of as long as three months. So the chauffers very well know the schedule. If an emergency comes up with one of the drivers, the other takes his place. I don't have an age number for their retirement. But they all go through an extensive physical full body checkup, and as long as they are meeting the criteria, and Mercedes is confident in certifying them fit for Presidential travel, I don't think they retire very soon.
Again, I don't know the exact age or the rules implemented over them. But I do know that the procedure mentioned above is mandated.
2. As soon as Mercedes can fix it up, test it, and approve of its condition to be back on the road.
3. Yes, the backup cars are always there. I mentioned it in my post as well. 1 active limousine is available and 2 regular sized Pullman is available. Apart from these, the older generation vehicles are also available. It's very less likely that something was to happen to all of those

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Originally Posted by digitaldeepak View Post

Do these vehile use normal fuel or high octane one?
And there must be some pumping station inside the President Estate?
What about Cars of Prime Minister?
1. High Octane Fuel.
2. I mentioned this earlier in my post. There used to be a pump dedicated to the President's motorcade. Now, the museum has come up in its place, and the cars need to go outside of the estate for refilling.
3. High Octane Fuel.

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Originally Posted by Mr.Bentley View Post

What if the PM has to travel to off-road areas? Does the convoy include any proper 4x4 steeds with considerable GC, approach and departure angles etc? I know there's very less probability of going off-road, and he may even use a helicopter. But not all places are accessable by a helicopter (landing problems).
Or, does he go to such places at all?
As these kinds of trips are planned well in advance (up to 6-10-12 months), if the tarmac is not feasible for his motorcade, it converted into one. We have to understand, it's not like people like us, taking our cars to someplace randomly, for example, to the market. For the President, PM, Vice President, and every other dignitary, these things are considered thoroughly before any announcement is made for their travel. So necessary changes are made. So they might try and change the incline, or the track. Or they might pick up some better-equipped vehicles. I believe the Range Rover he is already using should be sufficient in itself? Most of the deep offroad sections I can imagine are mostly under the army, or the navy, or the airforce. These actual offroad areas you are referring too; these must be at the borders. So, helicopter, and then some good armored military vehicles. And I don't see any tarmac where they are unable to travel. Also, we have to keep in mind, SPG takes care of the PM, and they are primarily military. They always have a way.

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Originally Posted by avishar View Post

And a sneak peek into the interiors!

Attachment 2018845


Other than these, there seems to be a deep pool of guest cars. Check out this normal wheelbase S600 W221!

Attachment 2018850


Or this plain jane W220.

Attachment 2018851
First Image: The man standing on the right in the uniform, he used to be the Military Secretary to the President.

Second Image: This is one of the cars that run behind the limousine, as a backup vehicle. There are two of these in the lot. They sometimes do guest duties as well.

Third Image: This is still a part of motor garage. Look closely, and you will see PBG personnel escorting the President.
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Old 24th June 2020, 18:17   #45
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Well I wouldn't put it squarely on the Indian mentality... Buyers know that when they get that Pullman Guard, you're tapping into engineering and operational knowhow that goes back decades, not to mention the enormous base of customer feedback those Mercedes teams will have had over the years.
Well, somebody has to start, right? Just because Mr. Karl Benz started it some 100 years back, doesn't mean that we have to buy cars from them only or that we can't attempt building better ones. I am not saying "reinvent the wheel"; but there is something more to it, I feel. If there wasn't, then Mahindra would not have got into manufacturing tractors, an industry which was started by John Deere, America, and also would not have become the largest tractor selling company in the world in 2010, by beating John Deere in the game which they invented!

It is a different matter that John Deere has tractors with up to 15lit. 6cyl. engines (though bought from Cummins) delivering ~600hp/~2500Nm whereas Mahindra has only up to 3.5lit. 4cyl. engined tractors with ~120hp/~460Nm. I think that is Mahindra's strategic decision to focus on their major market more, not related to their technical capability. Mahindra's largest tractor sales are in India, which is also the largest tractor market in the world.

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Originally Posted by ads11 View Post
Sure I'd love to see the use of a platform with a more tangible Indian connection, the easiest being using a JLR Sentinel platform.
I suppose you could boil it down simply to the question of what is worth more: the optics of a domestic vehicle vs the intangible risk there might be in using something unproven? If the former outweighs the latter, then voila, you'll soon thereafter see an Indian leader rolling on an Indian whip.
But, for that, somebody has to take an initiative. And I had thought from the present PM's seemingly country focussed initiatives, he is the best candidate for making the switch. But it turned out that I rejoiced too early.

And I think you will also agree with me that, after getting such a vehicle built by Tata and/or Mahindra, it could be subjected to all the tests that the present armored Mercedes/BMW is being subjected to, by sending it to anywhere in this world. I have heard from my friends who work for Tata & Mahindra about regular civilian vehicles of Tata/Mahindra being sent abroad for getting tested at agencies/tracks there. So, getting it built or tested is not the obstacle; which leads me to think, it is only in-depth interest/initiative that is lacking, nothing else.

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Originally Posted by ads11 View Post
And for the admirable sentiment from Mr Mahindra I'd rather not have their styling department come anywhere near a state vehicle, they tend to be polarising to put it mildly..
I would like to disagree here.

The XUV500, when it was launched in 2011 and even now, remains one of the most stylish designs in its segment, and even today, its style remains one of the main factors why its buyers go for it. Same with XUV300, again one of the cleanest and also aggressive-looking in its segment. The others like Scorpio, Bolero, Xylo etc. were not the best in their respective segment, but their styling was not deal-breakers for their prospective customers.

Having said that, I will agree that they have got some quirky styles also in their portfolio recently.

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Originally Posted by avishar View Post
A certainly a less dignified clamber getting out of the back seat of a Sierra than say an Ambassador.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyer View Post
I find it bit bizarre that the SPG choose a two door Sierra as PM's vehicle. Didn't they feel awkward for the VIP to arrive and then squeeze through behind the front seat.

In my opinion, a modified Tata Estate would have done the job better.
True, I also felt a bit odd that the PM would have to do some flexibility exercises to come out of Sierra's rear seat.

Tata Estate or the Ambassador itself would have done better here. But the Estate came sometime after the Sierra. And this programme must have been before the Estate was launched?

BTW, please find below, some pics of the concept/next-gen Ambassador EV that I saw on the net. Looks imposing, to say the least. This is built by the country's best/renowned automobile stylist, Mr. Dilip Chhabria / DC Designs.

Name:  dc2eambyelectricambassadorfrontthreequarter5793.jpg
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Even the old Ambassador looked real regal! I couldn't help but posting this rendering here, which looks so elegant.

Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-ambassador.jpg

But indigenous would still be a Tata or a Mahindra, since the Hindustan Ambassador was nothing but a rebadged Morris Oxford, brought straight from the UK.
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