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HomeFeatured Articles9 Great Project Cars That You Can Buy Right Now Part 1

9 Great Project Cars That You Can Buy Right Now Part 1

In the early-2000s to mid-2000s, cars were considered a mere medium to take people from point A to point B. Besides, in those times, cars were a luxury. Little did India know that these machines with 4 wheels would boom like anything in the upcoming years. Now, after almost two decades, cars and the emotions for these engineering marvels have come a long way. These are more than just a necessity for petrolheads like us. That said, right now, the Indian automotive market be it new or used car market, is loaded with project cars.

What are Project Cars?

Okay, what are these project cars we are talking about here? For those who are not aware, project cars are vehicles that are used for recreational purposes and should be driven in a controlled environment (like race tracks and rally stages). These are the cars that can be tuned or modified for different events. These events may range from time attack racing, circuit racing, drag racing, car shows to name a few.

So, are there any specific cars that are called project cars?

In a word, yes! So, let’s drift into the zone where we talk about the project cars you can buy right now in India. To begin with, these are cars of which aftermarket performance or aesthetic parts are readily available (these parts are not always cheap). In no particular order, divided into two parts, here are the 9 greatest cars that can handle engine swaps, lowered and stiffer springs, cold air intake, and much more.

  1. Honda Brio

    Honda Brio Tuned
    Honda Brio Tuned

    We think the first vehicle is among the best, if not *the* Honda Brio. If you have a slight idea of car tuning, JDM is something you should know. JDM stands for Japnese Domestic Market.

    Interesting Read: Remembering The Honda Brio And Why It Failed The Indian Market

    Honda being a Japanese carmaker, you will be able to import a ton of aftermarket parts from JDM. Also, sharing similar mounting points as Honda City, an engine swap is doable. This will pump the power of this little hatch straight to 120bhp. UFF!

  2. Maruti Suzuki Swift

    Suzuki Swift
    Suzuki Swift

    Let’s talk about the following vehicle frequently used for tuning, Maruti Suzuki Swift. Many people out there would wonder Swift is a cheap car. Well, that is a huge plus that people use Swift for time attack events.

    Must Read: Maruti Suzuki Swift VS Hyundai Grand i10 NIOS | The Hot Hatch Battle!

    Moreover, the dynamics of these hatchbacks are just spot on. Both will keep you well on your toes out on the track, whether a used car market or a new Maruti Suzuki Swift with updated power figured. Also, Maruti Swift also screens JDM, so aftermarket parts are a no people here.

  3. Honda City

    Honda City Tuned
    Honda City Tuned / Image Source (1)

    Comin back to the carmaker who has OP petrol engines, Honda. The next vehicle on the list does come with the most powerful naturally aspirated petrol engine at its price, Honda City. Be it a luxury car or a project car, Honda City can fair astonishing well in both.

    Here are 10 Upcoming Sedans in 2021 | Honda City Hybrid To Skoda Rapid

    All thanks to Honda’s R&D, most of the cars in their line-up are tunable, City comes at the top in India. That said, with some simple upgrades, City can witness some serious power gains. Also, there are people in Thailand who sell bolt-on turbo kits for City. How cool is that!

  4. Honda Jazz

    Honda Jazz Tuned
    Honda Jazz Tuned / Image Source (1)

    We are not entirely done with Honda, the next vehicle, ‘Jazz’ is a little on the expensive side as new, but it is rather mouth-watering in the used car market. Being a typical Honda, Jazz has immense tuning potential.

    Let’s talk Honda Jazz | Honda’s Premium Hatchback Through The Ages!

    Engine swaps, ECU tuning, suspension upgrades, Jazz will handle them like it was meant to be. Okay, you don’t believe us, there is a 2.4-litre iVTEC (Honda Accord’s engine) swapped Jazz. This swapped hatch pushes about 191 hp on the crank. Mesmerizing!

  5. Volkswagen Polo

    6 iconic Indian rally stage cars
    Volkswagen Polo

    How can we talk about project cars and not mention Volkswagen Polo? The next vehicle that is famous among the car community here in India is Polo. Agreed, the Volkswagen Polo misses out on multiple modern features, but it more than overtakes its competition in ride and handling. With a stock engine and right tyres, Polo is insane.

    Here are 5 Things To Know About The 2021 Volkswagen Polo GTI

    But when you add the tuning and dynamics tweaks. Even the people at VW know Polo owners and gave this hatch a tiny 1.0-litre engine. How it is boon you may ask? Well, people claim that this engine can push upwards of 180 bhp with stock internals.

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  6. Skoda Rapid

    Skoda Rapid Tuned
    Skoda Rapid Tuned / Image Source (1)

    Moving on, from the same house as Volkswagen, we have the Skoda Rapid. Sadly, to make way for the manufacturer’s new entry Slavia, Skoda pulled the plug on Rapid. But worry not, this means we, automotive enthusiasts, have a second chance at getting hands on one in the used car market.

    Check out the 2022 Skoda Slavia (Rapid-Replacement) | Here’s Your First Look

    Sharing a similar platform as Polo, Skoda Rapid was one mean machine. In its last avatar, the Rapid was powered by a 1.0-litre TSI moto, churning 110bhp and 175Nm of peak torque. Now, as said before, with stock internals and the proper tuning, this sedan can produce 180+bhp. On that, it would be a monster for sure.

  7. Hyundai Accent

    Hyundai Accent
    Hyundai Accent / Projects Cars in India

    The less known vehicle in the car community is the Hyundai Accent. This is among those few potent vehicles from the Korean carmaker. For one, back in the day when Hyundai Accent was new, it came with an independent rear suspension (Yup!). Moreover, this sedan had a huge bonnet, meaning acres of space under it to accommodate those big engine swaps.

    Let’s talk about Hyundai Accent | A Take on the Esteem

    Still, people give second thoughts of tuning this vehicle because of the availability of parts. Well, actually there was a Hyundai Accent that was given more power. A bunch of engineers installed a turbo on a naturally aspirated petrol engine. This took the power figures from 94bhp to 132bhp.

  8. Skoda Octavia

    Skoda Octavia Tuned
    Skoda Octavia Tuned / Image Source (1) / Projects Cars in India

    The engines from the Skoda Volkswagen group shout power; Skoda Octavia is a supreme power in that sense. Be it a Skoda Octavia or an Octavia with an RS badge, both the sedans are the right fit for the tuners. Holding immense tuning, potential people have gone bonkers in its upgrades. There are several Octavia’s in India that are punching 300+ hp.

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     Related: 2021 Skoda Octavia Launched, Get’s Many Exciting Features

  1. Ford Figo

    Ford Figo
    Ford Figo / Image Source (1) / Projects Cars in India

    Switching out focus back to hatchbacks, this is Ford Figo. Ford Figo is among those vehicles in India that came with a dynamic package as standard. Considering the ride and handling, Figo was on spot considering its rivals. But as of now, there aren’t many people in India who have gone nuts with its customization yet. With a good rally racing history, Ford did put some of the DNA into the Figo. Sadly, we’ll only see Figo in used car markets now.

    Let’s read about the 8 Cars That We Said Goodbye To In 2021


Mini CooperS

Mini Cooper
Mini Cooper / Image Source (1) / Projects Cars in India

Talking about tuning, the Mini Cooper is a relatively cheap car that can get insane power to weight ratio. As a stock, Cooper comes with a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine. This churns out 189bhp and 280Nm of peak torque. So, in the right hands, this B48 engine is capable of generating max power upwards of 300bhp. That, coupled with less weight, will be the perfect track matching one would desire.

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And these were the 9 (technically 10) cars we think make up the greatest project cars in India. So, stay tuned; there are many more coming up in the next half in this two-part series.

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Utkarsh Bhardwaj
Technical Content Strategist at GoMechanic | Big Time Petrolhead with the passion for building cars and driving those beauties.

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