Muscle cars are iconic vehicles that combine power, performance and style. They are usually associated with American brands like Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge and Shelby, but can they also be found in India? In this blog post, we will explore the history, availability and cost of muscle cars in India.
What are muscle cars?
Muscle cars are a type of car that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s in the United States. They are characterize by having large and powerful engines, often V8s, that produce high horsepower and torque. They also have a distinctive design that features a long hood, a short trunk, a low roofline and wide tires. Muscle cars are typically rear-wheel drive and have a manual transmission, although some models also offer automatic options.
The Muscle cars are known for their speed, acceleration and sound. They can reach high speeds in a short time and often have loud exhausts that create a rumbling noise. Muscle cars are also popular for their appearance and appeal. They have a sporty and aggressive look that attracts attention and admiration. Muscle cars are often customize by their owners to enhance their performance or aesthetics.
What is the history of muscle cars in India?
Muscle cars are not very common in India, but they have a long and interesting history. The first muscle car to be introduce in India was the Hindustan Contessa, which was launche in 1984 by Hindustan Motors. The Contessa was based on the Vauxhall VX series and was power by a 1.8L petrol engine that produced 85 bhp. Contessa had a sleek and elegant design that resembled the Chevrolet Impala and was considered as India’s first luxury sedan.
The Contessa was later upgraded with a 2.0L Isuzu diesel engine that increase its power to 118 bhp. The Contessa also offered features like power steering, power windows, air conditioning and leather seats. Contessa was popular among politicians, celebrities and enthusiasts who appreciated its comfort and style. However, the Contessa also faced competition from other brands like Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors and Hyundai, which offered more affordable and fuel-efficient cars. The Contessa was discontinued in 2002 due to low sales and emission norms.
The next muscle car to enter India was the Ford Mustang, which was launched in 2016 by Ford India. The Mustang is one of the most iconic muscle cars in the world and has been in production since 1964. Mustang is known for its performance, design and heritage. The Mustang that was launch in India was the sixth generation model that featured a 5.0L V8 petrol engine that delivered 395 bhp and 515 Nm of torque. Mustang also had a 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, a rear spoiler, LED headlamps and tail lamps, dual exhausts and 19-inch alloy wheels.
Mustang was the first muscle car to be offered with a right-hand drive layout in India and had a top speed of 250 kmph. The Mustang also had features like an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with SYNC 3, navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 12-inch digital instrument cluster with customizable modes, leather seats with heating and cooling functions, cruise control, keyless entry and start, rear parking sensors and camera, ABS with EBD, traction control, stability control and six airbags. The Mustang was priced at Rs. 74.62 lakh (ex-showroom) and was available in five colors: Race Red, Oxford White, Absolute Black, Ingot Silver and Triple Yellow.
The Mustang received a positive response from Indian customers who were impressed by its performance, features and legacy. The Mustang sold over 250 units in its first year of launch and became the best-selling sports car in India in 2017. However, the Mustang also faced challenges such as high import duties, limited service network, low fuel economy and high maintenance costs. The Mustang was discontinued in India in 2020 due to the implementation of BS6 emission norms.
What are the current options for muscle cars in India?
As of now, there are no muscle cars available for sale in India officially. However, there are some ways to get a muscle car in India if you have the passion and the budget for it. One way is to import a muscle car from abroad through a dealer, a private seller or an online vendor. This option allows you to choose from a wide range of muscle cars from different brands, models and years. However, this option also involves high costs, taxes, duties and paperwork. You also need to ensure that the muscle car meets the Indian standards for safety, emission and registration.
Another way is to buy a muscle car from a local vendor who specializes in importing and selling American cars in India. One such vendor is American Muscle, which was founded in 2017 and has exclusive tie-ups with major manufacturers like Ford, Chevy, Cadillac, Shelby, GMC, Dodge and RAM. American Muscle offers various models of muscle cars such as the Chevrolet Corvette, the Chevrolet Camaro, the Dodge Challenger, the Cadillac Escalade and the Shelby F-150. American Muscle also provides services like conversion, customization, warranty and maintenance for the muscle cars.
The third way is to modify an existing car in India to make it look and feel like a muscle car. This option allows you to use your creativity and skills to transform your car into your dream machine. You can change the engine, the transmission, the suspension, the brakes, the wheels, the tires, the exhaust, the body kit, the paint job and the interior of your car to suit your preferences. However, this option also requires a lot of time, money and expertise. You also need to ensure that your modified car complies with the legal regulations and does not compromise on safety or reliability.
What are the future prospects for muscle cars in India?
Muscle cars in India are a niche segment that caters to a small but passionate group of customers who love speed, power and style. Muscle cars in India face many challenges such as high prices, low availability, high taxes, low fuel efficiency, high maintenance costs and environmental concerns. However, muscle cars in India also have many opportunities such as growing demand, increasing income levels, improving infrastructure, changing lifestyles and preferences and technological advancements.
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Muscle cars in India may see a revival in the future with the introduction of new models that are more affordable, accessible and eco-friendly. For instance, Ford India may launch the seventh generation Mustang in India soon with a hybrid or an electric variant that will offer better performance, efficiency and emission. Similarly, other brands like Chevrolet, Dodge and Shelby may also enter or re-enter the Indian market with their latest models of muscle cars that will appeal to the Indian customers.
Muscle cars in India may also see a growth in popularity with the help of social media, online platforms and communities that will spread awareness, information and inspiration about muscle cars among the Indian audience. Also Muscle cars in India may also benefit from events, shows and competitions that will showcase the beauty, power and glory of muscle cars to the Indian public.
Muscle cars in India are not just vehicles but expressions of passion, personality and pride. They are not for everyone but for those who dare to dream and drive differently. Muscle cars in India are a dream for some and a reality for others.