What Young Petrolheads in India Need and Deserve Before Everything Goes Electric
05 Sep, 2021 by Arsh Jethi
So, I have been looking into the choices of cars we have in India but sadly can't seem to find one stock that seems to fit what youngsters with taste for performance need. A large demographic in India is between the age of 20 and 44. There is a guarantee this niche is bigger than what the automotive industry thinks. The sales volume might be low but the reputation gains would be very high. But give it a proper try unlike Fiat Punto Abarth or CBU VW Polo GTI (yes, Make in India)
Disclaimer: I value aesthetics alot and they are very subjective.
Let's dive right in!
What makes the driver happy
4 or more cylinders 150-200 PS engine (need the oomph)
Exhilarating acoustics (please, before electric takes over)
0-100 kmph in 6-8 seconds (plenty fast for the budget)
Pleasant steering response
Nice 6 Speed Manual Gearbox (slick short shifts)
Adjustable seats and steering column (a must to keep any driver comfortable)
Kerb weight 1100 Kg ??
Rear wheel drive (Extremely unlikely, I wanna drift though)
Excellent Chassis (Stiff boi)
Suspension: Independent, Nice and Firm
Wheels: 17 inch alloy wheels black or silver (em sophisticated wheels, thx). Please no shiny alloys which are coming stock on new cars.
Tyre's: Sticky low profile R17's (205/40 R17?)
All 4 disc brakes (Take a hint from Mahindra. Alloys with rear drum brakes destroy aesthetics)
Simple analog tachometer with a small LCD for other stuff- speedometer, odometer, gear indicator, fuel gauge, 2 trip meters with a button for changing and resetting these trip meters, maybe fuel range ?
Let's Make it a little practical and price under check
Solutions that are simple and give user flexibility while delivering the essentials. .
The formula is simple = Good Performance + Awesome music system + Safe + Basic Amenities + Reliable
Max 14 lakhs Ex-Showroom (I know it would be hard, but you can do it engineers! I promise would be worth it)
No gimmicks 100% essentials
No Internet/Cloud/Voice-Control/App-connect feature. Removing these is a feature/a_new_choice. Cheers to privacy.
Safety first: Airbags, ABS with EBD please
Tire Pressure Monitoring (nifty)
Simple clean aesthetics no decals or writings
No need of fancy Push Start/Stop buttons let me turn the key!
Don't need rear AC vents or climate control in a sub 4 meter car (Just flick the button when you feel cold/hot people..)
Fabric seat covers are fine, we can go for whatever we like later (Be it leather or Alcantara)
No we don't need a giant display in the middle or fancy electronics just a simple Music player with solid physical buttons and nice volume dial, bluetooth, aux, FM, good speakers and a sub-woofer
No need for steering mounted controls, just make the volume control easily findable without fiddling around. (Easy simple life)
Standard 12v socket for plugging in our fast charger of choice. Stock USB's with low output current and no support for fast charging- are not required
A pop-out phone holder we can use when there is a need for some navigation.
Air Conditioner and Heater (Pretty standard imo)
5 door (Sadly, 3 door won't sell enough)
Power windows on all doors (with 1 tap up and down)
Make in India keep the taxes low
No thanks, no ride modes spare the credits for the nice hardware
Ground clearance for Indian roads under check- about 160mm should work fine
Please no exorbitant spare prices and promise of spares availability for a long time
Cruise control is nice for boring highway rides
LED headlights (not so important but its 2021)
Reverse sensors in rear bumper are helpful
Rear window defogger (favorable for a crisp rear view)
No rear camera, whoever needs one may get it retrofitted
The Perfect Candidate
Hyundai has already made its shot with i20 N Line. My eyes are on Volkswagen Polo. With their new MQB A0 IN Platform, 1.5 liter (150PS) and 2 liter (190PS) powertrains a new VW Polo GTI should be possible. But hey, the invitation is open for all the manufacturers. I am hoping Tata and Mahindra can pull some trick in this segment too.
Feeling Lucky- The best case scenario would be something like the Toyota GR86 or Honda S2000 or Nissan 400Z or even a Mazda MX5.
Take the spot and earn the respect of all the Petrolheads.