What does it take to be a super rare car in India? Don’t sell! That’s it. The car might be a powerful one, first-in-the-segment, features loaded, in short, a good car and yet fail to sell. And such cars become a rare sight on the roads of India. Here is a list of 10 such super rare cars in India.
Mahindra Voyager | A room with a view
There are a very few MPVs of this type that have taken good numbers in India. Mahindra obtained the license for Mitsibushi Delica in 1997 and introduced the luxury MPV at our shores under the name Voyager. Well, the luxuries were not the only good in the Voyager. It came powered by a Peugeot-sourced 2.5-litre diesel engine capable of producing 70hp of power which was pretty decent at that time. But it faced a tough competition from Maruti Suzuki Omni which was simply cheaper than this luxury. This room with a view that you could change any time you want would cost you ₹5 lakhs at that time. So, there is a very rare chance that you might find one still running on the roads.
Fiat Siena | A Palio Sedan
Palio was nothing like its rivals. Everything in this hatchback came with maximum abilities for that time. And to add a cherry on the top of the cake, it was endorsed by the legend, Sachin Tendulkar himself. Palio was a real deal. With the success of the hatch, the company decided to introduce the sedan version of Palio. Well, it was not successful at all. The sales were low. Not many of you might even remember the name. Siena came and flew past the Indian market but without any noise, just like that.
HM Trekker | The Amby SUV
Hindustan Motors is known for the legendary Ambassador. The car was so famous that the company decided to convert it in every possible segment. Trekker was the SUV counterpart. The SUV was powered by the same 1.5-litre diesel engine that used to give out a 39hp of power and a peak torque of 80Nm. HM even introduced a 2.0-litre diesel engine variant that churned out 51hp of power and 106Nm of peak torque. With time and age, ugly things become classic. But Trekker has been an exception to the saying. It was never able to achieve what its latter did. It looked as if some 2nd grader designed the SUV in his drawing book. Sorry Tesla Cybertruck, HM did it even before you made it cool.
Sipani Badal | The Indian Reliant Robin
Do you remember the 3-wheeled car from Mr Bean that used to topple every now and then? It was the Reliant Robin. Sipani Badal is the Indian adaptation of that car. A small 198cc engine powered the different car. The company was able to sell 179 units in 1977, whereas the demand increased to 331 units in the next year. By the following year, the demand fell to a mere 104 Badals. By 1981, only 51 were sold and the next year, 31. It was discontinued after this as there was no demand for an autorickshaw turned car.
Mahindra Jonga | This is not the actual name
This SUV is the rebadged version of the Nissan Patrol sold globally. Jonga was initially made for the Indian Army. In 1996, it was made available for the civilians too. Let me tell you a small fact. Jonga is not a name but an acronym for Jabalpur Ordnance ANd Gun-carriage Assembly. But there were only 100 made as the demand was low and the company stopped the production in 1999. In 2019, this SUV was in news again as our very own Captain Cool, Mahendra Singh Dhoni bought a restored Jonga from Punjab for himself. He bought a 1999 model of Jonga which is powered by a 3.0-litre diesel engine.
Mahindra Reva | Started the EV revolution when it was cooler
Reva introduced an electric vehicle in India when the environment was cool. Now you understand the title. Well, it was simply costly. The Mahindra Reva used to cost over ₹5 lakhs. The electric car had a capacity of seating 2 people and was good for city commute. But it was not able to take off simply due to very low demands. People were not concerned about the environment and the market was flooded with bigger cars at the same price. Reva is a rare car for sure.
Premier 118NE | Company’s failure
This sedan was a luxury sedan at that time. A good engine, smooth transmission and a load of features are what you will need in a car. But it was costly. People were not ready to spend money on the 118NE when there was a relatively cheaper option from Maruti Suzuki available a.k.a the 800. At that time, actually no car stood a chance against the mighty Maruti 800 which became everybody’s favourite car at that time.
Read more: Premier 118NE | The one that couldn’t live up to the name
Hyundai Terracan | The Highlander
The full-sized SUV came in India back in 2003. This is what was wrong with Terracan. It’s all about timing. Being way ahead of its time, the SUV was not able to attract customers. Powered by a 3.0-litre diesel engine which produced 148hp of power and 343Nm of torque. This was accompanied by and All-Wheel-Drive(AWD) system all on a ladder frame chassis. The design also was futuristic. The SUV was a complete package as luxury and power all came along with it.
Premier Rio | Right Concept at a wrong Time
It was India’s first sub-4-metre SUV or subcompact SUV. Rio came in two engine options: 1.2-litre petrol and 1.3-litre diesel. The petrol engine churned out 75.6hp of power and a peak torque of 104 Nm. The diesel engine gave out 71hp of power and 183 Nm of peak torque. It was later updated with a Fiat-sourced 1.3-litre Multijet Diesel engine. The car was launched in the year 2013, the time when this segment was not at all famous as it is now.
Read more: Premier Rio | A Failed Rebadged Chinese Car
Daewoo Nexia | A step towards failure
The company after the failure of Cielo tried to tap in the sedan segment in India again with the Nexia. But again the company failed to attract the consumers in the country with vivid tastes. It was equipped with a 1.6-litre engine which produced 93hp of power and 132Nm of torque. The engine was mated to a manual as well as an automatic transmission too. It was priced at ₹6.22lakhs. The company was simply not able to sell in India. High prices, poor marketing and global loss led the company to discontinue its operations.
What really went wrong with Daewoo Cars in India?
So this was the list of 10 rare cars that you might RARELY see on the Indian roads. Do you know any other or do you own one of them? Let us know in the comments section below.
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