There are some cars that leave a lasting impression on not just their buyers but also on every car aficionado worth his salt. These are the cars that you want to see on the road forever. While the production of these cars has stopped, you want them to return. True, one can always buy these cars from the used car market but, frankly, a new car has its own charm. Today, we have listed down as many as ten timeless cars that we want to see back on the Indian roads.
Ford Fiesta 1.6 S
The Fiesta 1.6 S is easily the most modern car on our list. The 1.6 S is the sportier version of the last-gen Ford Fiesta. Not only does it look sportier than the regular variant, it also gets a performance-tuned suspension. Powering the Fiesta 1.6 S is the same 1.6-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine that powered the regular car. While the power figures are exactly the same as those of the regular Fiesta 1.6, the tuned suspension of the 1.6 S results in sportier handling. We really want this car to return.
While Honda Cars India will launch the tenth-gen Honda Civic in India next year, we are yet to get a car that can fill the void left by the eighth-gen Civic. Powered by a high-strung 1.8-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine, the now-defunct Civic offered 130 bhp of maximum power along with 172 Nm of peak torque. It looks pretty modern, even in today’s day and age and comes with a comfortable cabin that is sufficiently feature-laden. It also handles pretty well. And of course, you get gazillion modification options to choose from. Here’s another sedan that we really want to return.
The HM Contessa really needs no introduction. It was once the most premium car on sale in the country. Even today, it has a huge fan following owing to its muscle car-like design. That said, the Contessa isn’t a muscle car and is instead based on a Vauxhall that was on sale in the UK. However, its classic design and muscle car-like proportions have won many hearts across the country. We really want a modern version of this car with similar looks but with a more modern engine.
There was a time when Mitsubishi India had a pretty great line-up of cars. One of the most successful cars in its portfolio was the Lancer sedan. The India-spec Lancer was available with three engine options – 1.5-litre petrol, 1.8-litre petrol, and 2.0-litre diesel. The Lancer has a timeless design and great dynamics. While it couldn’t become as successful as the Old Honda City (OHC), it’s still a legend like none other. While Mitsubishi India did launch the Lancer Cedia, which was essentially the next generation of the Lancer, it could never enjoy the kind of fan following that the Lancer had. Here’s yet another C-segment sedan that we want to return.
Maruti Zen Carbon/Steel
The 3-door Zen is another car that we want to return. While India hasn’t been too fond of 3-door vehicles, the limited edition 3-door Zen was quickly lapped up by enthusiasts. Even today, the Zen Carbon and Steel command a great fan following. The 3-door Zen looks sporty, has a peppy engine, and handles pretty well, too. There’s really no other hatchback that can match the high appeal of the 3-door Zen.
The Chevrolet Cruze was a D-segmenter that shook the entire market with its powerful diesel engine. While the Cruze wasn’t a great handler, its bold design and a stonker of a diesel motor won many hearts. It was powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine that produced 164 bhp and 360 Nm. The engine came mated to a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The Cruze was one of the fastest diesel sedans in the country. However, the sudden demise of Chevrolet India led to the discontinuation of this sedan.
The Mahindra Classic was a one-of-a-kind SUV that looked really macho and was really very capable off the road. The open-top Classic Jeep looked very attractive. Also, its leaf type suspension allowed it to take on the most challenging terrains. While we do have the Thar today, there’s really nothing that can match the open-top motoring offered by the Classic.
The San Storm was an affordable convertible that was launched in India in 1998. It offered a good ride and handling and had a lightweight body. Powering the San Storm was a Renault-sourced 1.2-litre petrol engine that offered only 60 bhp of maximum power. However, thanks to the low kerb weight, the car didn’t feel underpowered. Unfortunately, the mainstream Indian car market has never favoured convertibles and hence, the Storm never sold well. That said, we feel that a modern version of this car can be many times more successful than the original model.
The Tata Sierra is another car that came to us way ahead of its time. The Sierra was launched in the early 90s. While everyone appreciated its macho looks and premium features, the buyers didn’t find it practical enough owing to lack of rear doors and a high price tag. We really want the Sierra to return with a modern engine and the latest features.
The Hindustan Ambassador is one of the most iconic cars of India. While the Amby feels dated in front of the modern sedans that we have on sale today, there’s really no C-segment sedan that can match the rear seat comfort offered by this car. The Ambassador kept the classic design of the Morris Oxford Series III alive for several decades. We feel that a new version with a modern engine, more features, and slightly spruced up looks will find many takers.