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The Ambassador is coming back with a fully electric soul and an awe-inspiring design.
In an age of better technology aided by artificial intelligence, revival of the classics is imminent. Apart from the ultra-modern designs of Tesla, several car and motorcycle manufacturers across the globe have got their hands into the electric vehicle segment. Even Hummer has its own EV!
Amidst the fully electric vehicle revolution from Ford Mustang to Porsche Taycan and everything in between, it is now time that Hindustan Motors revived its long lost legacy. Having begun with humble roots back in 1948, the Ambassador’s design was borrowed from Morris Oxford III. The ‘Amby’ or ‘Ambie’ as it is now fondly called, had become a hit among affluent Indians of those days. Hindustan Motors still wears a feather in its cap for producing India’s first car.
Some of us might remember the bulky old Ambassador for having a sofa as the front seat and being able to transport a dozen people in it. Most of us identify the Amby for being a status symbol for Indians of high prestige and/or power.
The new Ambassador EV would step it up a notch and be known for its elegance, comfort and luxury.
The digital renders of the new machine looks promising and future ready. One render was made by Amol Satpute as an internship project for ‘Tubotz Design’. The render maintains those essential curves on the bonnet while the overall look resembles a muscle car.
Another rendition of the Ambassador EV was made by Vishal Verma. This one maintains heavy traces of the real Ambassador.
Although these were just renditions of the car, the designs might not influence the Ambassador EV much. After all, the new team responsible for design and production will decide how the new car should look like.
It is only a matter of imagining the design. Deriving inspiration from the original model, a large front grille, the signature bonnet, upgrading lighting and electrical systems are to be expected.
What’s in it for Tamil Nadu?
The last car from the iconic series rolled out of Hindustan Motors’ Uttarpara plant in West Bengal in September 2014. Upon closure of the West Bengal plant in 2021, the company cited “worsening conditions at its Uttarpara plant which include very low productivity, growing indiscipline, critical shortage of funds, lack of demand for its core product, the Ambassador, and large accumulation of liabilities.”
Ever since the plant shut down, Hindustan Motors has been planning for a better future for the company. In 2017, Groupe PSA (Peugeot) bought rights to the Ambassador nameplate for an approximate of Rs 80 crores. Hindustan Motors will now work with Peugeot to manufacture the Ambassador Electric in India.
As per media sources, Peugeot and Hindustan Motors have signed an agreement already to start manufacturing electric two-wheelers to begin with. The collaboration will feature a 51% stake held by Hindustan Motors.
HM (Hindustan Motors) is operating another plant based in Tiruvallur. A plant that still produces Mitsubishi and Citroen for India. According to Wikipedia, Groupe PSA invested about Rs 4,000 crore on the plant that manufactures Citroen C5 SUV.
Since the unit is close to the capital, the infrastructure required will drive the PSA, Mitsubishi and now the HM Ambassador. Another feather in the cap for India’s Detroit!
Influence of Amby on Indians
Since the entry of Ambassador, Indians have been going gaga over them. Some are fans of the pickup model, some of the yellow Kolkata taxi and others the black & yellow Mumbai taxi. The elegance of the white Ambassador is without comparison.
Back in 1970, the Ambassador had a 75% share of the total car sales in the year. Several movies and music videos in India have featured the Amby in their scenes. Such is this car that has a special connect with the Indian people.
Back in 1970, the Ambassador had a 75% share of the total car sales in the year. Several movies and music videos in India have featured the Amby in their scenes
These days, any Ambassador that passes by deserves a turn of the head. The rarity of the legend has made it exclusive. Owners to this day always sing praises of their prized possession. A well maintained Ambassador sells within the range of Rs 90,000 Rupees to Rs 2,00,000 around Chennai. Perhaps it’s the right time to grab them!
The future for Amby
The well awaited Ambassador electric is not assured yet. The Director of Hindustan Motors, Uttan Bose earlier told The Times of India that “Mechanical and design work for the new engine has reached an advanced stage.”
On the other hand, an internal combustion variant of the Ambassador will enter the market by 2024. Since the rights of the ‘Ambassador’ nameplate belongs to Groupe PSA, the company will initiate development of the car.
When the Ambassador Electric comes by, there’s surely going to be a niche market for it. The purists though, would still prefer the original not only due to the nostalgic aspect but also the real feel of the classic.
That wouldn’t stop the Made in India fully-electric version of an age old icon from filling car porches across the nation. Perhaps later in the future, Hindustan Motors could revive the only Indian muscle car, the Contessa.
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