Today, an average Indian car buyer is spoilt for choice. He can pick from a wide range of mass market cars that offer modern styling, numerous features and engines that claim to have rather stratospheric mileage figures. However, we feel that some cars from the last generation were a tad more interesting. The cars we have on our list here have their own distinct appeal, which is why we really want them back on sale in India.
Not long ago, Mitsubishi’s product portfolio for India had a pretty great line-up of cars. One of the most successful of those cars was the Mitsubishi Lancer you see in the image above. However, the brand image of the Japanese manufacturer took a hit in the local market owing to the low demand for petrol-powered vehicles and a poor sales and service network.
The Lancer offered three engine options – 1.5-litre petrol, 1.8-litre petrol, and 2.0-litre diesel. While the diesel variant did sell well in some pockets, it was outclassed by the more modern diesel sedans like the Accent CRDi. The Lancer has an almost timeless design and offers great dynamics. Still, it could never become as successful as the Honda City. Later, the introduction of more modern cars made matters worse for the Lancer. While it’s no longer on sale in the country, the Lancer still enjoys quite a fan following. We want it back, really.
Maruti Zen Carbon & Steel
India has never been fond of 3-door vehicles owing to the low practicality. Maruti Suzuki introduced a limited edition, 3-door model of the jellybean Maruti Zen. It was quickly lapped up by enthusiasts. The Zen Carbon and Steel were not too powerful but were pretty impressive due to the very sporty three-door body style and the peppy G10 petrol engine. While Maruti sells some much more powerful hatchbacks today, there’s really nothing that can match the high appeal of this Zen.
The Hindustan Motors Contessa needs no introduction. Once the most premium sedans in the market, the Contessa enjoys quite a fan following even today. It’s basically a rebadged Vauxhall Victor that came to India many decades ago. While the Contessa isn’t a muscle car, its classic design with muscle car-like proportions makes it a hot favourite among the muscle car lovers here. Many Contessa owners have even modified their rides to make them look a fair bit like the classic Mustang. We feel that a modern-day iteration of this car, with a powerful engine and the classic muscle car looks, will make perfect sense for the Indian car market.
The Tata Sierra is one SUV that came to us way ahead of its time. The popular Indian car manufacturer launched the Sierra in the early 1990s. Back then, the Sierra created a lot of buzz due to its design, premium features and a powerful engine. While the fixed rear windows and a three-door format made the Sierra look just too cool, there was never a very high demand for this SUV. We really want the Sierra to return to our car market with a modern engine and latest features.
Ford Fiesta 1.6 S
The Ford Fiesta 1.6 S is the most modern car on our list. Basically, it was a sportier variant of the last generation Fiesta that was sold here. It came with a 1.6-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine and a suspension that was tuned for better handling manners. It also carried some visual upgrades to look a bit cooler than the regular variants. Sadly, however, the Fiesta S could never sell in huge numbers. We really want this car back as it’s exactly the sporty C-segment sedan that driving enthusiasts have been looking for.
Image source – 5