India needs a sports car. That's been true for a long, long time, but somehow it doesn't seem like manufacturers are willing to dare to create a car for Indian driving enthusiasts. There surely is a market here for something compact, stylish, agile and affordable that goes from A to B a little quicker than most other cars in that price bracket do.
So why haven't we got one yet? Is it that carmakers are worried about investing hundreds of crores to come up with something that has a little more for the driver? Well, that's understandable, but the market research departments of car manufacturers could do with a little spend on the feasibility of a sports car. The market has matured enough, one feels, and maybe a sports car needn't cost that much to develop.
Here's an amateur idea of what a compact two-seater sports car for our country could look like. The dimensions have been kept tight (under 4 metres) purposely so it can deal with our traffic and tight parking, and importantly avail of the sub-4-metre tax benefit to keep prices realistic.
The platform can be from one of the compact sedan platforms we have in the country, like the Honda Amaze, and its high revving VTEC motor would suit the small sports car nicely, maybe with alterations to the mapping of the ECU to bring the power output close to 100 bhp. That would work nicely for the car to achieve a 0-100 km/h acceleration figure of under 10 seconds and give it an impressive power-to-weight ratio. Weight of the car would be relatively low—under a ton—while the body would offer impressive stiffness for good handling by virtue of its two-door coupe design.
So do write in with your thoughts about whether you think something like this could work in our non-driver-oriented car society. A similar car for under INR 10 lakh, and our roads could begin to look very different indeed...