This modified Contessa sedan comes with a V6 engine and gets 4×4 [Video]

Modifications and customizations are not very popular in India due to strict regulations. However, there are still enthusiasts who undertake fascinating projects like the Hindustan Contessa. This particular Hindustan Contessa 4X4 has been customized by Dashmesh Customs. Undoubtedly attention-grabbing, but how did this project come to fruition? Here’s what you need to know.

This modified Contessa sedan comes with a V6 engine and gets 4×4 [Video]
modified Contessa 4×4

Suzuki Vitara-based Hindustan Contessa

The Hindustan Contessa takes inspiration from the Suzuki Vitara XL7 platform. Merging the body of the Contessa with the frame of the Suzuki was a meticulous process. The Suzuki Vitara XL7, being a body-on-frame SUV with a ladder frame chassis, posed a challenge. While it may seem like a straightforward task of swapping platforms, it involved much more than that.

The Contessa and the Suzuki Vitara XL7 were originally distinct vehicles, differing in various aspects. Achieving a seamless match between the body and frame, while integrating all the systems flawlessly, demanded extensive modifications. Dashmesh Customs has not disclosed the exact timeframe and expenditure associated with this project. Such modifications are relatively rare and undoubtedly demand meticulous attention and a significant budget.

This modified Contessa sedan comes with a V6 engine and gets 4×4 [Video]
modified Contessa 4×4

Under the hood of this Hindustan Contessa 4X4 lies the same V6 petrol engine that powered the Suzuki Vitara XL7 in India. This power-hungry beast generates an impressive maximum of 183 PS and a peak torque of 244 Nm. Suzuki offered it with a choice between a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission. The Vitara also boasted a convenient shift-on-fly 4WD system, eliminating the need to stop the vehicle for transitioning from 2WD to 4WD.

With all these modifications, including the new platform, the Contessa has undergone a significant transformation in its appearance. It now showcases a substantial increase in ground clearance, allowing for a more imposing presence on the road. Moreover, upon closer inspection, one can easily spot a plethora of mechanical components underneath, further highlighting the extent of the modifications made.

Not the first Contessa 4X4

Although these modifications may appear novel to some, it may come as a surprise that this is not India’s first 4×4 Contessa. Another Contessa with a comparable setup can be found in Delhi-NCR. However, the distinguishing factor lies in the engine that propels that particular vehicle, as it is equipped with a 3.0-litre diesel engine. Interestingly, videos showcasing the older Contessa 4×4 conquering off-road trails without any difficulties are also available. If you are interested in witnessing the Contessa’s prowess in traversing diverse terrains, I recommend watching the accompanying video.

In India, structural changes of vehicles are not permissible by law. The Supreme Court of India, as well as the Motor Vehicle Act, prohibits any modifications on vehicles that are operated on public roads. Nevertheless, these vehicles can serve as project cars for enthusiasts, who may use them on private properties such as racing tracks or farmhouses. However, if found on public roads, law enforcement authorities have the authority to seize them.

Not only are modifications are illegal in India, but aftermarket accessories like bullbars and other structural alterations are also banned. The use of oversized tires on vehicles is also something that’ll get you in trouble. While these vehicles do attract attention on the roads, it is important to note that since they are typically fabricated at local garages without proper welding equipment, they can pose a safety risk. In the event of a vehicle disintegrating while in motion on a road, it can potentially cause a serious accident. To monitor such modifications, police forces in different states have established checkpoints and issue fines accordingly.

Ajeesh Kuttan

Ajeesh, started 6 years ago with as an eager journalist passionate about bikes. His skills now encompass both bikes and cars, producing timely news reports spanning the auto sector. Beyond writing, Ajeesh excels in video production. Together with Shantonil, he participates in first drives and test drives for new car launches. (Full bio)