Indian market has always been dominated by the cars which were more economical and fuel efficient, as most buyers ask for ‘kitna deti hai?’. However, there were a few other cars that went beyond the mileage demand and offered power, torque and speed to enthusiasts. Here are 10 such cars.
The Ford Ikon was marketed as the ‘josh’ machine, and the car had the spunk to pull it off. Powered by a 1.6 ROCAM engine, which produced around 91 bhp, the car was a very sweet handler. High maintenance cost was the biggest factor why the Ikon remained more of an enthusiast car. Solidly built, the Ikon gave Indians a taste of American performance.
Fiat Palio S10
Italians have always been the pioneers in combining design and performance. One such beautiful example was the Fiat Palio S10 which was limited to just 500 customers in the Indian market. What added more to its exclusivity was the signature mark by one of the greatest cricketers in Indian history – Sachin Tendulkar. Powered by a 1.6-litre naturally aspirated engine producing 100 horses and 145 Nm of peak torque, the Palio S10 was India’s first-ever hot hatchback.
Ford Fiesta 1.6 S
Another great car from American brand Ford was the Fiesta. Ford has always been a company oriented toward driveability. The automaker launched a special edition Fiesta called the S model. The car got better suspension and an aquarius blue colour. The engine that it was powered by was a 1.6-litre naturally aspirated petrol with 100 Bhp-145 Nm.
Hyundai Getz CRDI
The Hyundai Getz Diesel CRDI was India’s first diesel hot hatch. The car was powered by 1.5-litre diesel unit which put out 110 Bhp of peak power and 237 Nm of peak torque. The car had a very light steering though, and this meant that it was more of a straight line rocket than a corner carver.
Honda City Type Z
One of the best sedans from the Honda stable which entered the Indian markets was the City Type Z. An icon of its time, the car packed a powerful 1.5-litre V-TEC engine which was good enough to produce nearly 106 Bhp and 134 Nm of peak torque. The highlight of this motor was its 7200 rpm redline, which really rewarded those who went heavy with the right foot.
Skoda Octavia vRS
2001 was the year when a Czech Republic company made its debut in Indian market with a sedan that was way above its competitors in both power and comfort. Yeah, we are talking about the Skoda Octavia Vrs which had racing DNA transposed into a comfortable sedan. The car packed a 1.8 litre turbo petrol engine with 150 Bhp and 210 Nm, at that time when most other cars were running 90 Bhp tunes.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno 1.6
One of the quickest cars launched by Suzuki in India was the Baleno 1.6, which was an exception from the manufacturer which was known more for its economy cars. Powered by a powerful 1.6-litre petrol engine which churned out a maximum of 94 Bhp combined with a short ratio gearbox, it was even faster than the Honda City 1.5 VTEC in the 0-100 Kph sprint.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS
The Baleno badge, which was known for performance, got another shot in the arm with the introduction of the RS model. The Baleno RS hatchback features a 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine with 101 Bhp and 150 Nm. Considering the fact that the Baleno platform is so light, the car offers great performance and good fuel efficiency, a combination that has ensured that the car is the best-selling hot hatch in India currently.
Volkswagen Polo GT TSI
The Germans wanted a bigger pie of India’s performance-focused hatchback market. So, they built a more powerful version of the Polo, and called it the GT TSI. The car features a 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine with 105 Bhp-175 Nm. A 7-speed twin clutch automatic gearbox – one of the advanced transmissions in its class – was standard. The car’s solid build was the icing on the cake.
Fiat Punto Abarth
The Italians brought in the most powerful hatchback yet again with the introduction of the Fiat Punto Abarth. The car is powered by a powerful 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine with 143 Bhp and 215 Nm, figures that are much higher than those produced by competitors. The car gets a sub 9 second 0-100 Kph run, and stiffer suspension.