Some cars were launched keeping enthusiasts in mind, but they never really took off due to a variety of reasons. Good intentions + poor execution = Bad results. Today, we’ll take a look at 5 such affordable enthusiast cars that flopped big.
Hyundai Getz CRDI
India’s first diesel hatchback to hit the 100 Bhp number isn’t the Volkswagen Polo GT TDI. Rather, it’s the Hyundai Getz CRDI, which prior to its discontinuation features the 1.5 liter CRDI turbo diesel engine with 110 Bhp-237 Nm on tap. While subsequent cars in this segment have produced more torque, the 110 Bhp number still remains the most power produced by an affordable diesel hatchback sold in India. Where did the Getz lose the plot? 1. Scary high speed handling. 2. A soulless steering 3. A suspension tuned for comfort rather than sharp handling.
The Chevrolet SR-V was a large hatch with ample performance. It looked very good too. Yet, nobody really fell for it. The car lasted half a decade (2006-10), mostly at GM dealerships across India, before it was pulled off. So, what happened? The SR-V was an Optra minus the boot. It was spacious, and has a powerful 1.6 liter petrol motor (100 Bhp-140 Nm). However, the asking price of nearly 7 lakh rupees (ex-showroom Delhi) meant that there were few takers for this car. The SR-V was a premium, no compromise hatchback at a time when the Indian market simply wasn’t ready for it.
Skoda Octavia vRS
The Skoda Octavia vRS introduced India to turbo petrols in the sub-20 lakh rupee segments. The car didn’t take off though, despite the 150 Bhp motor and beautiful handling. The stiff price tag and the poor reputation of the Skoda brand did the Octavia vRS. Enthusiasts were also concerned about the high cost of spare parts. Skoda tried again, with the second generation Octavia, under the Laura vRS nameplate. That didn’t sell either. The third generation Octavia vRS isn’t confirmed for India. Twice bitten, thrice shy?
Chevrolet Optra Magnum Diesel
The Chevrolet Optra Magnum Diesel, in a sense was the zenith of the Optra sedan brand in India. The 2.0 liter turbo diesel engine on this sedan with 120 Bhp-314 Nm gave the Magnum magnificent performance in the straight line. But the suspension couldn’t really keep up with what the engine was capable of. While the Magnum was spacious enough to appeal to a wide cross section of buyers, it straddled price points that were neither here nor there. Positioned between the C and D sedan segments, the Magnum simply lost its way.
Hyundai Accent Viva
The Hyundai Accent was the first, and the last, notchback in India’s C-Segment sedan market. Sold with both petrol and diesel engines, the car was meant to bring enthusiasts towards it in flocks. It didn’t happen, despite the peppy (for its time) 1.5 liter-3 cylinder CRDI turbo diesel engine. Like most old Hyundai cars, handling wasn’t the Accent Viva’s forte, and this meant that enthusiasts largely stayed away. The Accent Viva never took off and Hyundai soon discontinued the car, choosing to persist with the regular Accent sedan.