Whether or not we believe in reincarnation, there certainly is something called automotive reincarnation. To prove that we look at five modern cars that are in one way or the other modern equivalents of cars from the past. Spooky!
Maruti 800 5-Speed – Maruti Suzuki Alto 800
Remember the time when MSIL decided to plonk in a more powerful version (45 hp) of its 796 cc engine and a 5-speed gearbox and use it in the Maruti 800, only to turn the latter into a proper pocket rocket? If you do, then you would surely be able to see the similarities with the Alto K10.
The Alto K10 follows the ‘less is more’ philosophy closely, but it has lost the directness of the old car. But fret not, the K10 uses a 1-litre engine and makes 68 PS and 90 Nm of torque. Keep in mind that it just weighs close to 750 kilos.
While the one from the past feels more direct and thus you have to work it hard to make the most of it, the new one has more power available on top and has better brakes too. Added features and an optional AMT gearbox are also available but that’s not the point here. Also see – Maruti Alto reviewed
Mahindra MM540 – Mahindra Thar
With new-age products, Mahindra has certainly come far from the CJs, but let’s not forget where the companies’ roots are. The MM540 is one of the most recognisable Mahindra Jeeps of the past and making a modern version of it won’t have been an easy task.
Thankfully the company decided to keep it simple with the Thar. It looks very similar to the MM540, isn’t hugely advanced underneath either, but gets a very powerful engine and chassis setup that is unlikely to let you down off the road. The recent revision comes with locking rear differentials, hence making the Thar more capable than it was earlier. And maybe closer to the MM540 in terms of desirability. Also see – Wild and wacky SUV modifications
Ford Ikon – Ford Figo Aspire
Ford Ikon stayed true to its tagline ‘the Josh Machine’, but as time passed it was overtaken by others in the segment and also its hugely admired successor, the Fiesta. The Ikon was a car that offered a good amount of power in a package that handled well and looked decent, too.
Fast forward to the present day, and you have the Ford Figo Aspire doing the same for you. Given the sub 4-metre placement, it’s not very expensive, but comes with a powerful diesel engine (the 1.2-litre petrol isn’t peppy and the 1.5-litre petrol is confined to the automatic only), looks decent, and certainly has the josh in it. A modern day josh machine? You bet. Also see – Figo Aspire compact sedan or Figo hatch – What to buy?
Hyundai Tucson (old) – Hyundai Creta
The Creta might have added life to the compact SUV segment, but it’s certainly not the first time Hyundai has offered something in the said segment. Launched in April 2005, the Hyundai Tucson came before time, unlike the Creta.
The Creta wasn’t just timed right, it had a more pleasing design, and with the market ready to accept a new compact crossover, it had no issues in making a mark for itself. Also see – India’s 5 fastest accelerating budget SUVs
Fiat Palio GTX – Fiat Abarth Punto
With a 1.6-litre naturally aspirated engine under its bonnet, the Palio GTX was the car most of us could relate to, when the term ‘hot hatch’ was used. It just took more than a decade and another Fiat to step in again and offer us Indians a car that another generation of enthusiasts will be able to relate to when they hear the holy words ‘hot’ and ‘hatch’ together.
It’s called the Fiat Abarth Punto, comes with a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine, and can even make the Palio lovers proud. The dynamics are well-sorted, and the engine has enough power to match the chassis. It’s not very expensive and is one of those cars that will urge you to drive harder – like the Palio GTX. A true successor, maybe. Also see – A dozen fast yet affordable budget cars