Indians always find a way around things to find the cheapest possible way. Even though Motor Vehicle Act and other laws are quite strict and even modified vehicles are illegal on Indian roads, there are still many “jugaads” that run freely around the country. These are low-cost vehicles developed mostly for small towns and rural parts of the country. Here are a few such makeshifts that you can definitely call outlandish, to say the least.
The Tempo Hanseat is purely a people-carrier. The structure of the vehicle is such that it is perfect for congested city roads. Also, it can tackle the worst of Indian roads. It is an old, very old vehicle, which was launched by Force Motors in the 1960s. It is a three wheeler and is powered by a 452cc, twin-cylinder petrol engine that produces a maximum power of 20 Bhp. The engine is mounted on the front-wheel, which is quite unique. It is still found in many Indian villages and rural areas where people rely on cheap transportation to move around.
Hindustan Motors is known for its two most popular cars in the Indian market – the Ambassador and the Contessa. However, the brand launched several other vehicles in the market too. One such vehicle was the Hindustan Trekker. The barebones vehicle was also launched in the market as a people-mover. Hindustan Motors used the headlamps, engine and even the suspension from the Ambassador. This is a rare vehicle to spot on the roads.
The Hindustan Motors Veer was based on the Ambassador. It was actually a desperate attempt by Hindustan Motors to expand its portfolio and attract more customers. The Veer was a pick-up truck based on the Amabassador. However, almost no one bought this vehicle.
If you follow international cars, the chances are that you know about the uniquely designed Reliant Robin. It became very popular in the UK in the 1970s. Based on the Robin, Sipani launched the Badal in India. It was made up of fibreglass body and does looks like a toy car. The vehicle came powered by a 198cc, two-stroke petrol engine that powered the rear wheels.
Tata launched the Spacio to give a bare-bone, basic version of the popular Tata Sumo to the customers. It was much extremely affordable and looked like a small pick-up truck. The Spacio was purely targetted at the Tier-II and Tier-III city customers of the country. It was powered by a 3.0-litre diesel engine, which was the same the Tata 407 truck.
Mahindra Gio was an option for the three-wheeler customer market. It was actually marketed as an option to upgrade to a wheeler vehicle. Even though the design looks quite novice and amateurish, it was equipped with a powerful 442cc, single-cylinder, direct injection diesel engine.With 9 Bhp of peak power and 21.5 Nm of peak torque, it offered a manual transmission.
Polaris launched the unique Multix for the rural customers in India. It was a people carrier, a goods carrier and even worked as a generator to power a small house. The vehicle was launched to attract customers who would be able to get everything from a single vehicle. It came with a Greaves 510cc, single-cylinder engine that produces a maximum power of 9.8 Bhp and peak torque of 27 Nm.
Since it is not made by any manufacturer, people have given it the name “Jugaad”. This type of vehicle is mainly spotted in the Tier II and Tier III cities of the country. It is a low-cost vehicle made out of components from various other vehicles. Since it is made using different vehicles, mostly there are massive differences between them. These are also known as the Chhakda in some parts of the country.
E-Rickshaws have become popular in the recent years. They are just a bunch of metal pieces joined together. It is mostly used as the last-mile connectivity option but many also use the vehicle as a goods carrier. These are powered by electric motors and the operator does not require a valid driving license.
It is again a poeple’s move, designed to tackle the narrow lanes. It is a three-wheeler and is highly unstable by design. However, it is the most cost-effective way to travel for some. These run on petrol and CNG while some of them have installed diesel engines.