Snapshot – Timeless cars happen once in a decade. Cases in point – the Maruti Suzuki Gypsy in the 1980s, the Tata Safari in the 90s, and the Giugiaro designed Fiat Punto in the noughties. Well, we have the Mahindra Thar for the decade we’re in but then again, old timers will argue that the Thar was one of the oldest ‘timeless’ cars if you will, derived as it is from the Civilian Jeep (CJ) as far as its design goes.
Head turners on the other hand, happen every now and then. We had the Range Rover Evoque make people go weak kneed and then its affordable lookalike turned up in the form of the Ford EcoSport. Today, we’ll take a look at 5 recently launched head turner cars on Indian roads that are affordable too. These cars are new enough, so the novelty value is still high. A couple of them are quite rare, another reason for folks to crane their necks.
Hyundai i2o Elite
The i20 Elite B+ segment is easily one of the most gorgeous Hyundai cars in the Indian market. A visual stunner that came out of Hyundai’s design studio at Russelsheim, Germany, the car’s swanky good looks brought prospective buyers to the South Korean automaker’s showrooms, and then its high quality, and fit and finish levels sealed the deal. The i20 Elite has been the hatchback’s swansong as far as sales is concerned, with even the Maruti Suzuki Swift facing a threat to its sales leadership position. That, says it all. And despite big sales, the i20 Elite’s relatively recent entry into India has ensured that it continues to turn heads.
Aston Martin cues abound on the Ford Fiesta Facelift, making it one of the most handsome cars in India’s C-Segment sedan market. That it’s an real rarity on streets here on the back of poor sales, adds to the mystery. Dig beyond the looks and you have a car that’s a driver’s delight. A torquey turbo diesel motor that looks anaemic on paper can surprise you, thanks to its well matched gear ratios and minimal turbo lag. The Fiesta is in its true element when driven spiritedly as this induces the car’s brilliant steering and suspension to come together for a ballet. A petrol motor with a 6 speed twin clutch automatic gearbox is another sporty stab that Ford India will soon endow this stunner with.
The Mahindra Scorpio simply cannot be called a good looker in conventional terms. Head turner, it certainly is. Some are shocked by how this SUV looks, some even abhorring it while legion of Scorpio fans simply adore its in-yer-face form factor. It’s this in-yer-face appeal that makes the Scorpio brash and aggressive, appealing to buyers, many who want an SUV that can scare little kids. In its latest iteration, the Scorpio features a boat load of chrome, garish tail lamps and a snout that would even give Bane the jitters. The Scorpio has the quintessential ‘dhinchak‘ value that appeals to the masses, and dhinchak sells in India.
Fiat Punto EVO
There’s only one Giorgetto Giugiaro and the Punto’s timeless shape has flown from this celebrated industrial designer’s fingers. That even a slapdash makeup job to facelift the Punto somehow retained the original lines is a tribute to the designer’s genius. Though the Punto EVO isn’t as arresting as the original, the body shell has been largely retained, and this has been enough to turn heads. Then there’s the novelty value of the Punto EVO being a relatively new hatchback launch in India. While matching the old Punto would be hard, prospective owners can take heart in the fact that a few easy-to-perform changes to the Punto EVO’s exteriors can make the car come close to the original.
The Avventura is one of the better looking hatchback based crossovers on sale in India, which has an abomination called the Toyota Etios Cross. Essentially a jacked up version of the Punto EVO, with butch cladding to boot, the Avventura is a sharp looker. The spare wheel on the hatch lid may be a stupid thing to add as far as functionality goes but in terms of aesthetics, it comes across as a styling element that adds solid musculature to the Avventura’s looks. Copious ground clearance and a superb suspension set up make the Avventura a crossover that you’d be comfortable in, on rougher surfaces.
There are so many Renault Dusters on Indian roads that the SUV no longer gets people to take a second glance. It’s badge engineered sibling – the Nissan Terrano – is a much rarer sight though. People who wonder who the Terrano is actually mistake it for the Duster the first time around, and then take a second look to exclaim, ‘which is this car that looks so similar to the Duster?’. Most folks buying the Terrano do so mainly for its looks, which they feel is better than those of the Duster. On the insides too, the Terrano feels plusher. Why won’t it, when you shell more for what is essentially a Duster with a lip and nose job?