Time is the key factor for a lot of decisions. Whether a thing will succeed or fail, time plays a very crucial role in determining this. The same thing applies to the Indian automobile industry too. You can roll out the most amazing products but if the timing ain’t right, it can all go to vain. So today we will give you an insight into 5 Indian cars that were revolutionary and way ahead of their time.
Maruti Suzuki India was also seen as a company that only makes affordable cars and they wanted to change that. In 2011, with an ambition to tap into the premium sedan segment they launched the gorgeous Suzuki Kizashi. It was powered by a 185hp 2.4-litre petrol engine coupled along with a 5 speed manual gearbox and also got a CVT option.
The engine offered a direct injection system, which was said to deliver better fuel efficiency and fewer emissions. But there were a few issues with the Kizashi. Firstly, at the time, it did not have a diesel option. Second, Maruti Suzuki decided to introduce the Kizashi in India as CBU (direct import). That meant that the Kizashi was costlier than its competitors. In the end, due to poor sales, MS pulled the plug on Kizashi.
Originally known as the Subaru Forester, it was rebadged and launched by Chevrolet in March 2003. It was officially the first ‘compact SUV’ of India. It was a pretty good deal. A Subaru four-cylinder boxer engine, a manual gearbox, an all-wheel-drive and an SUV/wagon styling.
But Chevy couldn’t figure out the most important thing to Indians i.e. price. High price combined with poor after-sales and high maintenance cost, the Forester dug its grave before it even starts walking. And because of very poor sales, the American giants discontinued it in 2007. Tragic.
Ford Ecosport( Ecoboost)
Good car, bad heart. The Ford Ecosport was a huge hit and was the turning point for the American giants. It looked fresh, had good driving dynamics and was definitely a worthy competitor to the Renault Duster. The only mistake they made is giving Indians an exciting variant.
That’s right! Ecosport also came with a 1.0 litre Ecoboost engine which produced 123 BHP. But due to some reliability issues, Indians said a big no to this version and Ford stopped offering the Ecoboost engine in 2017.
We did not deserve you! Skoda Yeti is a 5 seater SUV and was the ‘first premium compact SUV’. The Czech brand launched the Yeti in 2015 in order to establish its dominance in the Indian SUV segment. It was offered in 2 variants, the 4×2 and the 4×4 and had a manual gearbox.
Skoda offered a 2.0-litre diesel engine which produced a decent 108 BHP. So overall it was a good car with a good engine and great offroading capabilities. But Skoda made the same mistake and put a hefty price tag. Indians also did not understand the concept of a ‘compact SUV’ at that time and all this ultimately lead to Yeti’s funeral in 2017.
Saved the best for the last! Tata Sierra is a big cult vehicle and was surely an Indian car way ahead of its time. But dial it back to 1991 when the Sierra was introduced as the first ‘SUV’ of India. It shared most of the components from its hauling cousin, the Tata Telcoline.
But it was built on a whole new Tata platform X2 with side members and crossbars, which could be used on every road surface, and also made it a capable offroader with both rear and all-wheel drive offered. Compared to the Telcoline, the soundproofing was better in the Sierra which made the cabin less noisy.
This was also the first Indian production vehicle to be offered with power windows, AC and a tachometer as standard. Powering this was a 2.0-litre (1,948cc) four-cylinder diesel naturally-aspirated Peugeot engine which produced 67 BHP. But people just couldn’t understand this beast.
There were only 4 seats, the rear windows did not operate and overall it was a little expensive in 1991. It also got a new turbocharged heart in 1998 but it was a little too late and finally stopped production in 2003.
No matter how many cars come and go, these cars will surely rule our hearts forever. It’s a shame people couldn’t understand their worth at that time. So readers there you go, 5 Indians cars which were way ahead of their time. Let us know in the comments if you own one or have a story with them.
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