A burning desire: 5 instances where premium cars caught fire in India

Most humans share a very strong bond with their cars, be it their reliable workhorse or the vehicle that’s just used for leisure drives during weekends. And to see the cars die, because of age or an untimely, unfortunate circumstance is nothing but agonising. In relation to the recent Lamborghini Gallardo fire incident (more on which is mentioned below), we take a look at five instances where premium cars caught fire, and were sadly reduced to nothing but heaps of ashes. Well, almost.

1. Lamborghini Gallardo

Lamborghini Gallardo Delhi

(Image courtesy NDTV)

A number-gainer of a supercar, the Gallardo was Lamborghini’s one of the most successful products ever. Replaced by the Huracan, the car didn’t just make the brand more attainable, but also made a mark for itself. Sadly, the orange example in New Delhi couldn’t replicate the success. Earlier yesterday, the car was reported to have left a service station, but caught fire and engulfed half of itself – the whole of the engine compartment.

It remains to be seen what was the reason behind the incident, but DC Design’s Bonito Chhabria mentioned in an interview with NDTV that an oil leak could have led to breaking out of fire, although detailed reports aren’t out yet. The car was powered by a V10 engine and made in excess of 540hp, and was available in both RWD and AWD versions; power and drivetrain was model dependent.

2. Porsche 911 Turbo (997)

Porsche 911 Turbo fire rear

(Image courtesy WreckedExotics)

The 911 Turbo has always been the insanely fast one from the Porsche 911 range, right from the Turbo’s inception way back in the mid 1970s. And the same can be said about the generations that followed, including the previous generation version (997).

Porsche 911 Turbo fire

The car in question underwent aquaplaning at a high speed (some reports claimed it to be 250kmph, which is insane for public roads – even if they are blocked). The incident took place in Hyderabad, and after losing control due to the presence of water on the road, the car crashed into the road divider, post which it engulfed and eventually the whole vehicle was lost. The driver was lucky, the car not so.

3.Porsche Cayenne

Porsche Cayenne Turbo fire

Porsche Cayenne, the premium SUV which crossed the 6,00,000 units production milestone last year has been a favourite in the Indian market. Not only does it offer sportscar humbling pace and dynamics, it also comes with a brand value that’s second to none.

But while most Porsches live and enjoy the status, businessman Yohann Poonawala’s Cayenne Turbo wasn’t as lucky. The said vehicle’s driver had a narrow escape when the onlookers told him about the smoke coming out from the car’s bonnet, in Mumbai. Soon after which, flames took over.

4. Audi R8 Spyder

Audi R8 Spyder Mumbai burnt

(Image courtesy @NiketanMadhok)

The Audi R8 took the genre ‘everyday supercar’ a level ahead with gorgeous looks, overall (all-weather) stability, and a rewarding drive that put a lot of its competitors to shame.The car was available with two engine choices: a V8 and a V10; and two body styles: coupe and convertible. Its replacement, the new R8 is available (in the international markets) only in the V10 and coupe guise at the moment.

Back in 2013 during Parx Supercar Show’s parade in Mumbai, an Audi R8 Spyder caught fire and by the time the fire could be controlled, not much was left.

5. Ferrari 360 Modena

Ferrari 360 Modena India crash

(Image courtesy Team-BHP via WreckedExotics)
Launched in 1999, the Ferrari 360 Modena was powered by a 3.6-litre V8 that made 400hp. It gained a lot of popularity in India when a certain Michael Schumacher handed over the keys of one such example to Sachin Tendulkar. While the car’s no longer with Tendulkar now, the rear-wheel drive ‘berlinetta’ still looks as beautiful as did back in the day.

Unfortunately, another 360 Modena (there aren’t a lot of these in India – mind!) didn’t enjoy such a fate. In 2006 (as mentioned in a Team-BHP post) after its driver lost control and crashed, turned into a fireball, in Chennai. And although Chennai heat might not have much to do with it, but the helpful bypassers saved the driver’s life by cutting the seatbelt and pulling him out of the car.