The WagonR is one of India’s most popular cars, what with 15,000 copies selling on an average each month. Indians love the WagonR because it’s very affordable, spacious, frugal and of course, highly reliable. But style or for that matter peppy performance is not what anyone buys the WagonR, at least in India. Which is why we want Maruti to bring in the JDM-spec WagonR StingRay. In case you’re wondering, JDM stands for Japanese Domestic Model. And just look at that car.
The JDM-spec WagonR StingRay is not just aggressively styled but also has enough features to blow away the minds of most entry-level hatchback buyers. First, the looks. The car’s front end is totally restyled through the latest update, which happened late last year.
Gone are the please-all lines that the WagonR was always known for. Instead, what you get in the JDM car is a Cadillac inspired front end that screams in-yer-face. Now, the WagonR with such a front end is sure to be a MEGA hit in India. Are you listening, Maruti?
Then there’s the mileage bit. Well, the JDM WagonR StingRay is hybrid. Despite a 660 cc, 3 cylinder engine powering it, a turbocharger and the hybrid system together take outputs to 66 PS and 98 Nm, quite respectable for a light car that weighs well under a 800 kilograms.
A CVT automatic gearbox is standard, which means that the car will be extremely convenient for city streets – a place where it’s likely to spend 90 % of its life. And wait for this, in Japan the WagonR StingRay even gets an all wheel drive system.
While that’ll be overkill for India, at least the turbo petrol engine with the hybrid system is what India will love. The interiors of the car are suitably modern while remaining minimal enough. There’s a smartphone inspired touchscreen infotainment system that occupies pride of place on the center console while the rest of the dashboard gets a clean, no-nonsense layout. Most existing WagonR owners would approve. Then you have the long feature list. From LED headlamps to automatic climate control, the car everything you’d ever need on a city car. As for us, we’ll just take the styling, the turbo and ABS+airbags.