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      Mitsubishi iCar

      Satish Kalepu

      Satish Kalepu


      Mitsubishi iCar - Good Things Come in Small Packages

      In the age of booming economy, richer middle class and small nuclear families, India is all geared up to see good growth in the small car segment. Just imagine the number of small cars on India roads and more are yet to hit the streets. The idea has been bought readily by all the car manufacturers. Therefore, after the Hyundai i10 we have now Mitsubishi iCar coming up in India. End of 2007 is surely going to witness the new Mitsubishi iCar being launched by Hindustan Motors in India. It is expected to be a nice shopping trolly for the small and nuclear families

      The Power Machine

      This car has been already acclaimed as a hit in the international market and is expected to grab every small car buyer's eye in India as well. It is being powered by a 600 cc 3-cylinder turbo-charged engine that would offer power at 52PS which means it gives more power than Maruti Alto. It has been transversely placed in the car to save the space. However, the engine is really punchy and at higher speeds, you can easily experience the diminutive motor getting breathless.
      Style and Comfort

      Since the engine has been placed at the back, the new Mitsubishi iCar inherits looks of an electric car and somewhat like the Volkswagen Beetle. This placement might not please a conventional buyer who are more used to seeing engine in front. The look might appear a little weird but the overall style is space age kind. Moreover, the placement of engine in the boot also gives more cabin space and a good amount of leg room. You can also see the decent sized boot and a design to carry four adults very comfortable. The cup holders and the tray might look a little flimsy but the interiors are nice for the budget offering.  

      The Drive and Safety

      The car feels light and offers enough grips required for a city car. The driving position is a little higher than the other city cars. Moreover, since there is no bonnet in the front, you drive can see only the dashboard and windscreen ahead. The compact dimensions offer complete maneuverability to the driver which is ideal for the narrow Indian city roads. However, since the engine is located at the back with a rear wheel drive, you need to be wary of the wet roads and slippery terrains. Apart from this the long wheel base offers the iCar to handle bumps but you may feel a crashy ride over the potholes. All other safety features are incorporated in the small iCar by Mitsubishi and Hindustan Motors.

      On the Pocket

      Although the looks are fragile but the small Mitsubishi iCar is ready to give a tough competition to its competitors in the segment. If you convert the current UK price of iCar it falls in the price band of Rs.7 lacs which may let the price sensitive buyer opt for better priced cars in the segment like Hyundai i10 or Santro. If it needs to compete then the price must fall under 5 lacs. Moreover, the Zen Estillo and 1000cc Chevy Spark. The final price of the car is yet to be decided during the launch. Currently, Hindustan Motors plans to import the parts and assemble the same here and sell the car in the market.