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Posted By: Shanu Ahluwalia Vij
Five years of living the Good Times has also been five years in the fast lane. To me, the word or the number five resonates a milestone that in my head is synonymous to five gears shifts, #5 national highway or 5 valve engines. There could be many more, but that is not where my mind really drifted and settled when I heard of our channel anniversary. I was thinking, what car got me excited five years back? Which cars did I crave for and wished these were in India? Has all that changed? How has the auto scene in India evolved in the last five years? There were a lot of things that came to my mind but here are my top auto inceptions that we did not see five years back. These are the developments that we, auto buffs, are so glad to finally see. So here goes, some of the firsts, the debuts on the Indian roads that set everyone’s heart and pulse racing!
1. Ferrari – Ask the public in general about their all-time favourite car and the chances are that a majority of them would want a Ferrari. Which is why when Sachin Tendulkar got a Ferrari as a gift, the nation went wild. Today, we have movies named after the car. We may be a country obsessed with mileage, but we are also a country obsessed with the Ferrari. Someone, somewhere important in Ferrari realized that and the Ferrari Horse finally came prancing into India last year and opened its first showroom in Delhi. Ferrari came with its entire range of cars - The Ferrari FF, The F458 Italian, the California Spider and the 599. While the availability of a Ferrari in India is a dream come true for all car buffs - with prices ranging between Rs. 2.2crores and Rs.3.5 crores (approx.) it continues to be a dream for many!
2. Harley Davidson – Movies like Then Came Bronson and Easy Rider made you want to own a bike. That bike was one of the Harleys. Since then, at heart, you were always the Harley Davidson fan but , but , but.. the bike was not in India. For the biker in you, the past five years gave you your classic biker dream. Harley Davidson came into India in 2008 and took to the roads with ease and style. Whether it was the Hot Rod or the Fatboy or even the Softail Classic, Harley made us all feel like the king of road and made us want to own one. There is a Harley for every pocket. Starting from Rs. 5.5 lakh onwards, this biker dream did see the light of day!
3. Bugatti Veyron - The fastest car in the world is in India today. It is the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport and yes that too has come onto our roads only in the last five years. The Veyron is powered by an insanely huge 8000cc W16 engine which produces 1001 PS of peak power and 1250 Nm of torque, maximizes itself at a top speed of 408 Kmph. At $2.6 million or Rs. 16 crores onwards, it’s one of the most expensive cars in the world. Now that, to me, is all about driving in the fast lane.
4. Mini India – That is not the name of a locality abroad with Indian settlements. This is the old – classic, automobile company, MINI, which made its India appearance finally this year, with the MINI Cooper S and MINI Countryman. Though the choice is limited and this is definitely not the complete Mini range, we are happy that it is atleast here. It does take us back to the Flower – Power era but when you sit in one, it drives you like you you are in the space age. This one is a package of brawns and beauty. The MINI range has become the new car of desire even at a price point of Rs. 32.80lakhs for the Countryman and Rs. 35.90lakhs for the Countryman High.
5. Formula 1 Motorsport - The biggest motorsport of all times finally came to India last year, The Formula 1 race. We got our very own Buddh International Circuit – an international race track. For all auto enthusiasts, this was a big achievement and gave a huge impetus to the sport. For India, nothing got bigger than that in the world of auto. But before that, India got its very first F1 team, Force India in 2007. Even though it has not done exceedingly well in the motorsport, it still has made us proud. Suddenly, the Formula 1 race has become a reason to be patriotic and we love this adrenaline rush.
Phew! This list excites me no end. I can’t imagine that only five years back we had none of these to talk about. Sometimes it is a great idea to look back and see how much one has achieved. It just makes you feel like you are at 408 Kmph, powered at 1001 PS and worth a million dollars – simply put, a very happy auto buff!
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