Wednesday, 25 September 2013


Hindustan motors can pride itself in being the oldest and one of the most iconic car brands in India, the most iconic car of which is the Ambassador. The machine that is still called the “Indian Hummer” has become a car that is associated with taxis or ministry vehicles. Recently they launched the Ambassador Encore and it has many people wondering if the company should have even bothered making new car. It’s one thing to make the car look the exact same with the exception of a curve here and a cut there, but it’s a step back for the old chugger to have nothing that would appeal to a reasonable buyer today.

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First off let’s have a look at the price. The Encore costs Rs 4.98 lakh ex-showroom which will amount to an average of nearly Rs 5.50 lakh on road. At that price you could have anything from a Hyundai i10 to a Tata Indigo eCS. All cars that are just as easy to maintain, better to look at, are lighter and would outperform the HM legend. The Ambassador Encore is powered by a 1489cc, 4-cylinder, diesel engine which is BS4 compliant. The peak power output is an embarrassing 49 BHP and 112.5 Nm of torque. The BS3 model is even worse with a power output of 35.5 BHP and 73 Nm of torque. Granted that the target audience doesn't care about performance, but would it really cost the company so much more to make a well engineered car?

Performance like this was great during Fred Flintstones days, but in 2013 it is an abomination. For a brand that also sells Mitsubishi, it seems that HM has learnt nothing in terms of performance or features. Power windows and power steering are among the “best” features that the car offers and the brochure actually includes the mobile charger as a feature. Hindustan Motors calls the Ambassador simple, authentic and timeless, but if this is the way they plan to continue they may run out of time. If you do want the legendary Ambassador, why not look out for the original one? Retro does not mean that a car should offer only old day amenities and if the brand does not open its mind it may have to close its shutters.

-- A DC design concept for the Ambassador.
 Mini-Cooper much?

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