You are one of those young guns of India with money in your pocket who just can’t settle for a ‘family hauler’.You need a car that is good enough for the office sprints but can also be a slayer for the track days on weekends. Worried that your savings won’t be able to get you a car with attributes? Here’s a list of stock cars that can turn out as some fast track weapons and won’t be too harsh on your pocket as well.
Volkswagen Polo GT TSI
Volkswagen India is the most involved organization with the Indian Motorsports scene than any other. Organizing its Polo and Ameo cup championships, training racers, and establishing a prestigious platform.
VW delivers some of the track action with performance-oriented versions of the Polo, the Polo GT TSI. The recently launched GT TSI gets a 1.0 Litre TSI petrol engine churning out 108HP and 175Nm of torque mated to a 6-speed auto as well as a 6-speed manual transmission. 0-100 km/h comes in a little under 10 secs which makes it quite a capable car.
However, the most popular GT TSI was the previous version which got a 1.2 Litre TSI engine churning out 103HP and 175Nm of torque with a 7-speed DSG gearbox at its service. The DSG gearbox did a phenomenal job in putting all that 103HP down on the road. Accompanied by the rigid and planted body of the Polo, the GT made for a really desirable track weapon. There are several examples of a 1.2 Litre GT TSI in a neat condition in the used car market.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS
Maruti Suzuki came up with the performance-oriented iteration of the regular Baleno, the Baleno RS in 2017. The Baleno RS vs Baleno came with a 1.0 Litre, Three-cylinder, turbo-petrol motor which made 102HP and 150Nm of torque which is close to 18HP and 35Nm more than the regular Baleno(in petrol). All this power was mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. 0-100 km/h came in about 10secs in the RS.
With Maruti’s cheap maintenance and reliability factor, The RS is a very practical option for a car which hails from the track. However, due to poor sales and the emergence of BS6 norms, Maruti discontinued the Facelifted Baleno RS. But finding a used example in neat condition won’t be such a task.
Honda City VTEC (Gen1/Type2)
This car, in a true sense, lives up to the term “blast from the past”. The type 2 Honda City went off the floor decades ago but it can still give the modern-age performance-oriented cars a run for their money. The City is an enthusiasts delight and with the VTEC legacy under its hood, it is one of the best N/A engines we ever got in the country. It had a 1.5 Litre VTEC engine which produced 106HP and propels the car from a standstill to 100km/h in 10.1 secs. This figure is something that modern cars achieve with the help of all kinds of tech and turbos, but the city does it Naturally aspirated.
If you are a Honda VTEC fan looking for a track machine, getting hold of a good condition used type 2 City will be a perfect choice.
Skoda Octavia vRS
It’s not exactly an affordable approach to fulfilling your dream for a track car but you cannot call it a list of “track-focused cars in India” without the Octavia vRS. It is the quintessential full-sized performance sedan. It gets 2.0 Litre, four-cylinder TSI engine, similar to the ones found on cars like the Audi A6 and Audi TT. It produces 250HP and 350Nm of peak torque mated to a 6-speed DSG gearbox. 0-100km/h comes in just 6.7 seconds and has a top speed of 250km/h. Various examples of the car have been seen lapping around the Budh International Circuit in ablaze.
Skoda also recently launched the Limited edition Octavia vRS 245 with power figures bumped up to 241HP and 370Nm of torque and a 7-speed DSG gearbox. Only 245 examples of this were meant for India and all of them have been sold out.
Fortunately, the used car market still has some regular Octavia vRS in great condition on offer.
P.S: If you are looking to vRS power in a cheaper iteration, then you may also be able to find a used generation 1 Octavia vRS for sale in India.
Fiat Punto Abarth
The only car in the sub-10 Lakh rupee segment which is capable of doing 0-100 km/h in close to 9 secs. Its 1.4 Litre T-jet engine produces a massive 145HP and 210Nm of torque. It has got the recipe of a hot-hatch bang on. Surprisingly enough with all that punch under its skin, the Punto Abarth bombed in the Indian market. The public simply didn’t show faith in the car due to Fait’s poor reputation in the country. But if you can make peace with that and get our hands on an Abarth, it won’t be the worsts of the decisions.
Honda Civic (2006-13)
The 8th gen Honda Civic is the car enthusiasts miss the most seeing in the dealerships. It has a fanbase in India like no other car. It’s low-slung’, futuristic, and sporty design was an immediate success in the market. It had strong 1.8 Litre, four-cylinder, i-VTEC engine(N/A) making a healthy 130HP and 171Nm of Torque mated to both manual and automatic transmissions which made the Civic a sheer drivers’ car. However, it has been a while since the 8th gen Civic was discontinued in India. Due to this reason, a used Civic from the time currently goes for as low as Rs. 2.5- Rs. 3 Lakhs. At that price point, the old Civic makes for a sweet deal for a car of its class.
Ford Fiesta 1.6S
This one is a rare find, the Ford Fiesta S is a performance car many people don’t know of. When this car was launched in India it came with features like a special suspension setup and wider tyres from the factory itself. Even though the 1.6 L only made a reasonable 101HP but with factory fitted kit, it one of the best handling cars there is, something which is very useful when out on a track.
Fiat Linea T-Jet
It is another Fiat in India which couldn’t bloom under the shadow of Fiat’s poor perception in the country. It had a detuned version of the 1.4 Litre T-jet engine producing 123HP and 207Nm of torque which was pretty quick of the line. However, the Fiat Linea T-jet problems were also very popular. But despite that said, the Fiat Linea is a pretty fast car to race down a highway and you can get one for as low as Rs.1.5 Lakhs
Tata Tiago/Tigor JTP
Tata Motors along with the Coimbatore-based Jaymen Automotive launched the Tata Tiago and Tigor JTP in 2018. This partnership was recently dissolved amidst 2020 COVID-19 outbreak bringing the journey of the two cars to an end as well. The JTP twins got a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine making 114PS and 150Nm of torque. Both cars have great performance capabilities. These are two particular cars which come tuned-up off the factory line and you do not have to bother running around to tuner shops. A used example of the JTP twins is a good find.
Maruti Suzuki Swift
The Swift rather a car for the masses which doesn’t have huge power figures on paper. But the Swift is considered by many as a peppy, fun-to-drive car and has given many the “the taste of first blood”. As per the segment it belongs to, Maruti Swift is a very capable car which can be pushed to the limit without any worries. The Swift is also scheduled to get a facelift sometime around Diwali 2020 having an all-new, 1.2 Litre dual-jet motor producing 90HP.
Chevrolet Cruze (Honourable Mention)
A global car brand which recently closed shop in India was Chevrolet and with it, the aspirations of the Indian fanboys for a new Cruze also gone for good. Everyone remembers the ‘diesel rocket’ in its heyday. The Chevrolet Cruze had 2.0 Litre turbo diesel engine cranking out a whopping 164HP and 360Nm of torque. The car literally blasted off the line and was a popular track weapon back in the day. One could find a Chevrolet Cruze for a very cheap price which in most cases makes it a steal(keeping in mind that it is in a good condition and Chevrolet no longer operates in our country).
Mitsubishi Cedia (Honourable Mention)
This one is a yet another rare find. The Cedia came with a 2.0 Litre, four-cylinder petrol engine which made 115HP and 175Nm of torque mated to a five-speed manual transmission. The car is known to clock a speed of 180km/h with ease and a very fun-to-drive car.
The entry-level performance car segment is very much neglected in the Indian Automotive Industry, but with the cars on offer and enthusiasm of the petrol heads, it sure has a lot of unrealised potentials.