Sunday, April 18, 2010

Princess Diana in your jeans, anyone?

Now, you must know this chap. He wears a big watch, and drives a souped up sedan. He talks excitedly about the new AreaX PowerLogic 7.0 ECU he’s just ordered online, while clutching his private parts. He also mentions chips, which you must note, have no co-relation with fish whatsoever, and chipping - which is how Big Watch Man derives more horses from under the bonnet, rather than drilling large holes everywhere.

He turns up for weekend ‘meets’ with a laptop computer. Where his mates crowd over his shoulder, as they watch Jessica Alba do an x-rated number in high-res format. And then, after some exaggerated laughter, wheelspins and a bite at the CafĂ© Coffee Day, they go home to their respective Facebooks.

While I don’t have much of a problem with these blokes, I do get put off by their cars. It has to be a Honda City with Plaster of Paris moulding on the chin, lots of unofficial sponsorship decals, and Mine’s So Much Bigger Than Yours written all over. In invisible ink.

I have heard of, and this is no typo error, 300bhp Honda Citys (Cities?) in Bangalore. Not enough? Try a DL 3C reg orange Civic with an alleged 400bhp tune-up. That’s a full sixty more than an E46 BMW M3!

Which brings my concern on to characteristics; a word not as lengthy as it is crucial. BWM spends anything between a lakh to a whopping six to eight lakhs on his, as he puts it, ride. That’s eight lakhs over the cost of the car, which itself is roughly 10 lakhs. All this, for characteristics not dissimilar to those of a wet fish on greased ice. The power is quite literally going up in smoke, and the resultant numbers are but a second or two quicker. If I had to choose, I’d rather leave home two seconds earlier than shell out six whopping lakhs to make up for it.

See, a proper supercar with a high-revving engine, race-spec seats, and a gruff howl is as close as you can get to being in bed with a horny Princess Diana trying woman-on-top, biting your ears off, with Iron Maiden on the stereo at 130dB. That’s keeping motorcycles out of the equation, of course. The problem is, you’re being shoved the sport-y platter every time you call for a McSport with nuts. So there’s a sporty new SX4 with a sporty leather wrapped steering wheel, a sporty Hyundai Accent with sporty white dials, and there’s even a sporty Estilo, in pink.

Now, Indians have built sub-10lakh SUVs, estates, roadsters (if you count the San Storm), and even a sub-3lakh electric car for mice. So why not a sub-10lakh rear wheel drive sports coupe? By my mathematics, that would be two doors, two windows, power window switches, ashtrays, an entire rear bench and two seatbelts lesser – money which could be spent instead on extracting more power. And they could offer FRP panels as an addition on the Options List – the darling of the quintessential motorcar manufacturer of today.

Ideally, they should look up the Chinkara; the one car I truly WANT. The one car which, in the Indian scheme of things, is as close to a motorcycle as it gets. It’s proper old school; with mechanical everything and no iAmSoDull techno-wizardry. Someone who drinks strong beer with petrol in it, and rides a two-stroke motorcycle like a madman on fire. A car with so much hair, they should call it the Chinkartikware.

And then, all of us compulsive motorcyclists who look at cars as downtrodden will buy one. So will BWM, and so will his best friend – the disgusting chap who asked who Prince Diana was.


  1. Take a look at the Ford Fiesta 1.6 S. A total of three people drive it - and two of that in all probability are motoring scribes! It is time to stop cribbing and start building - India can do with a Rs 10-15 lakh performance coupe or convertible. VW Scirocco any one?


  2. I've heard from numerous sources that the Chinkara snaps axles like toothpicks. And the build quality has been inconsistent. A great effort, yes. But worth the price? Not one bit. I'd rather have a good open-top MM540, plonk in one of those 4-pot turboed Toyota or Nissan diesels and have a blast in just half of what the Chinkara would cost me.
    But Ruman, I know who Diana was. And yes, woman on top sounds like the shit!

  3. (a) Am assuming that the Prince Diana at the end is a typo. Or not? Err.

    (b) Three hundred horses is piddly. There are rumours of a 430 horses City in Pune. Yes Sir, those are allegedly dynoed figures and all. (Oh, how I love to write allegedly like that. :P) Burning rubber down to the rims.

    (c) A coupe in India will never make sense. Business sense, that is. I will tell you why. The Indian car driver will go to the showroom. Hem and hawe. And say a car is meant for fourteen people. Not two. With a stick in between. Pay 10 lakhs for that? No Sir, I will rather go ahead and buy a BainganR. VFM Sir.

    Excellent thoughts. In my opinion, but the only thing which comes close to a motorcycle is a jeep. Classic, if you may. Top down. Which is the only time it can come close to being as much fun as Princess Diana.

    Err, and may her soul rest in peace (pieces)?

  4. No Evo - That's exactly what he said 'PRINCE Diana' :|