Most of the glory goes to cars that either deliver big sales numbers or are iconic due to some or many reasons. However, what about those which did not see the light of the day for very long or those which have been discontinued and have been forgotten? There are plenty of cars that ran on Indian roads for a very brief time and today's generation will not even have heard of these. Their companies pulled the plug on them for reasons like sluggish sales and others. These are some of the cars that promised a lot but failed to deliver and are now a tiny spec in the Indian automotive history.
Sipani Dolphin: Heard this name for the very first time? Well, it was on sale in India back in 1982-90. Sipani is a small car manufacturer based in Karnataka. They built cars like Badal (based on the three-wheeled Reliant Robin), which later evolved into the Dolphin. Initially, it came as a two-door with a 848 cc, 4-cylinder engine with a 4-speed manual transmission, and it was rear-wheel drive. Sounds like it may have fun to drive back then, however, in 1983 Maruti came up with the 800 and the Dolphin had to be replaced with a four-door Montana. Eventually, the car could not withstand the stern competition from the Maruti 800 and succumbed in 1990. (Image: Boyracer)
Rover Montego: Sipani introduced one of the first luxury cars in India, the Rover Montego in two trims - a sedan and a station wagon. It came with a 2-litre diesel engine with a five-speed manual transmission. It had a power steering, power windows and air-conditioning, the comforts we are now used to seeing in cars today. However, a price tag of Rs 11 lakh is quite a lot for some even today, let alone how big it must've sounded back then, which was the reason why the car died in 1995. (Image: Rac)
Standard 2000: Built by a manufacturer based in Chennai, Standard 2000 could only survive the Indian car market for three years. During that time though, it was considered one of the most affordable luxury cars at Rs 2.2 lakh. What brought it down, however, was the 2-litre, 4-cylinder petrol engine with four-speed manual transmission, which many complained was underpowered and had a dismal mileage output of 6 kmpl. (Image: TeamBHP)
PAL Peugeot 309: Not all cars on this list died because they were bad. Introduced in India through a joint venture with Premier Automobiles Limited (PAL), the 309 actually garnered a good response from customers owing to its fuel efficient 1.5 litre diesel engine and a capable 1.4-litre petrol engine that produced 75 bhp. The 85 bhp diesel unit from the 309 was later used in Maruti Esteem, Zen and the Hyundai Accent diesel. However, the car was discontinued in 1997 when joint-venture came to an end post labour and financial trouble between the two companies. (Image: Maxcars)
San Storm: This is the one we spoke of in the beginning, the only home-grown convertible in India after the Standard Herald, the San Storm. The San Storm was a sports car with limited luggage space and 1.2-litre engine that delivered 60 bhp which wasn't exactly sports car performance and to top it all you could probably slip your hand into the panel gaps. It never caught on, but if you're still interested in it, the San Storm can still be ordered from San Motors in Goa. (Image: Indiandrives)
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