Hindustan Motors plans to add a compact sedan version of the Ambassador sedan in the next few months. CarToq has managed to snag official CAD imagery of the Ambassador compact sedan (CS).
We have created a rendering of the Ambassador compact sedan based on the images; what do you think?
From the imagery, it is evident that the Ambassador CS is a truncated version of the full-sized (regular) Ambassador sedan. The boot has been chopped to make for a sub-4 meter length while the rest of the car including the wheelbase and aesthetics remain untouched.
The front and rear bumpers also seem to be shaved off, in order to meet the sub-4 meter length requirement. The unchanged wheelbase is significant as the Ambassador compact sedan will continue to retain the spacious innards and the Sofa-like rear seat that the Ambassador has been famed for. The compromise here is that of the luggage carrying space of the boot, which is likely to be compensated through the addition of a roof mounted luggage carrier, a staple accessory of the taxi segment.
The compact sedan has been spotted testing in various parts of the country over the last couple of years. The car has also been spotted undergoing homologation at Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), in Pune. In a nutshell, the Ambassador compact sedan seems launch ready and the car is likely to hit Indian streets in 2014. The 2014 Indian Auto Expo, scheduled to happen in early February next year, could be the venue for the unveiling of the sub-4 meter compact sedan based on the Ambassador.
The main purpose of the Ambassador compact sedan would be to boost sales of the beleaguered Indian automaker, by lowering the entry-price point of the car. The lower price point for the Ambassador compact sedan will come by means of the lower excise duty that the Indian government levies on sub-4 meter cars. Therefore, expect the Ambassador compact sedan to be priced about 30,000-50,000 rupees lower than equivalent variants of the full-sized Ambassador.
Also, the compact sedan variant of the Ambassador will feature the BS-4 certified, turbo charged version of the 1.5 liter overhead valve diesel motor that has been added to the full-sized sedan’s engine bay. As Hindustan Motors doesn’t have a petrol engine measuring under 1.2 liters in capacity, a petrol engined variant of the Ambassador compact sedan is unlikely. The Ambassador compact sedan will be aimed at taxi fleet buyers in Hindustan Motors’ home market of Kolkata.
The car will directly rival the Tata Indigo eCS in Kolkata’s taxi market. Notably, a no-frills version of the Indigo eCS, aimed at capturing the taxi market of Kolkata, was launched by Tata Motors a few months ago. As the base variant of the no-frills, taxi-special Indigo eCS (minus air conditioning and power steering) is priced at 4 lakh rupees, a similar price point is likely for the Ambassador compact sedan as well. Apart from the taxi market of Kolkata, the Ambassador compact sedan is also likely to be launched in other parts of the country.
It would be interesting to see if car buyers and taxi owners in other parts of the country will warm up to the idea of a cut-price, sub-4 meter version of the Ambassador compact sedan. The Ambassador compact sedan isn’t revolutionary by any stretch of imagination and the car can do only so much to boost the fortunes or sales figures of Hindustan Motors. This begs the question: Is Hindustan Motors doing enough to avoid going out of business? We’d love to hear your opinion on this in the comments box below.