From Comfy Granny to Chic Chick?

The Economic Times - - The Edit Page -

If there is one granny who en­joyed a dream run as an age­less icon for decades it is the Am­bas­sador car. For the gen­er­a­tion that was born af­ter the ad­vent of the brash and speedy new kid on the block, Maruti 800 — which iron­i­cally also re­tired aged a mod­est 30 in 2014 — the ven­er­a­ble Am­bas­sador car has been a some­what puz­zling anachro­nism. Mostly seen on the streets as yel­low cabs or the chauf­feur-driven ve­hi­cle of choice for govern­ment func­tionar­ies un­bur­dened by con­cerns of speed, fuel econ­omy or driv­ing com­fort, it must have seemed to them to be an un­likely es­capee from an au­to­mo­tive Juras­sic Park. While it in­spired nos­tal­gia, sto­ries of its hefty ca­pac­ity to carry large In­dian joint fam­i­lies also harked back to when end­less traf­fic jams and long idling times did not ne­ces­si­tate en­gine-tax­ing add-ons like air con­di­tion­ing, power win­dows and mu­sic sys­tems. Nor did its ro­bust steer­ing need to ac­com­mo­date one-hand driv­ing so that the other could be used to op­er­ate mo­bile phones. It could well be said that the weighty Am­bas­sador car kept much of In­dia on the straight and nar­row by its very in­ca­pa­bil­ity to be mis­used thanks to its stolid no-non­sense spec­i­fi­ca­tions. How­ever, now that the Am­bas­sador brand has been bought over by Peu­geot, there ap­pears to be a strong chance that the ma­tronly saloon will get a chic sleek French makeover. In­dia will def­i­nitely be wait­ing to see its trans­for­ma­tion.

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