Tales of new Hindustan Motors Ambassador variants are almost part of folklore now. Now we hear the car is coming out with two “new” models to keep up with the times. Work has apparently started on a hatchback variant based on the same platform, and the sub-4 metre “compact sedan” variant is ready for production.
According to a report in the Business Standard, Hindustan Motors’ managing director and CEO, Uttam Bose, confirmed these variants and added that an all new Ambassador is also in the works, which should be ready by 2015.
There suddenly seems to be a flurry of activity at Hindustan Motors, a company that many had written off. Not many private buyers pick the Ambassador anymore, but it still sells to commercial cab operators, government officials and bureaucrats. The car, in fact, sells more than some modern, contemporary international brands in India. In February, the Ambassador sold 545 cars, compared to 200 in January. That’s twice what Skoda’s Fabia and thrice what Fiat’s Punto sold. Also read: Seven timeless cars we want back on the road
Timeline of Hindustan Motors Ambassador launches
This June, Hindustan Motors will bring the diesel variant of its existing Ambassador back into metros with a BSIV compliant diesel engine. The diesel variant of the Ambassador is powered by a 1.5 litre diesel engine putting out just 36 bhp of power at 4000 rpm and 72.5 Nm of torque at 2,250 rpm. This engine is quite underpowered and has hopefully been given a revamp. There was a 2-litre Isuzu diesel variant that put out 58 bhp of power as well, but that was discontinued. Also read: Indian cars you grew up with!
The regular Ambassador is powered by a 1.8 litre Isuzu petrol engine that puts out 72 bhp of power and 134 Nm of torque, with a fuel economy of 12 kmpl. This car is currently available in metros with a CNG and LPG option as well, priced at about Rs. 5.25 lakh.
In the second quarter of next financial year, HM is planning to introduce a sub-4 metre variant of the Ambassador, by just downsizing the generous boot. This variant of the Ambassador will come only with a 1.5 litre diesel engine to comply with sub-4-metre excise duty norms.
By the end of the year, HM will also introduce a hatchback variant of the Ambassador on the same platform. But it says it will have new interiors in keeping with the times. This too is likely to come only with a less than 1.5 litre diesel engine to meet excise norms.
The company has a capacity to produce 25,000 cars at its Uttarpara plant in West Bengal, but is not producing more than 10,000 cars at the moment. While the planned launches are still based on the same 1954 Morris Oxford platform, that went on to become the Ambassador, it’s only by 2015, can you expect an all-new car. Also read: Upcoming, low-priced compact sedan launches
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