Hyundai India recently unveiled the all-new Creta compact SUV at the Auto Expo 2020 and the unveil was done by their brand ambassador Shah Rukh Khan. SRK has been associated with Hyundai for more than 20 years and holds the record for one of the longest celebrity associations with a brand globally. On the sidelines of the unveil Express Drives got a chance to speak with the Baadshah of Bollywood. During the interaction, SRK spoke about the cars he likes, the ones he drives and what he likes and dislikes in modern cars among many other things. Here’s what King Khan had to speak about cars and there’s a video as well for you to enjoy.
You said you got the first Hyundai Creta from the earlier generation. Do you plan to get the first one of the new model as well?
I will for sure. I got to know that March 17th is the date and someone told me that by 17th March, it will get done.
Apart from Hyundai, which is your one favourite car?
I am not a very car person but if I have to look only from the outside, I like cars to be very basic, I don’t like them to be too cushiony and I don’t like them having too many features. I like cars, for instance, a BMW which is more basic, the seats are not too cushiony, the lines are clean and that is one of the other things that I like about the new Creta. If you look at the lines, those are clean and not too much cluttered as is the case with some cars and there are too many things happening outside. So I think clean line cars which are not very cushiony and don’t have too many features. It should have an air conditioning system and I won’t even mind if it doesn’t have power windows. I think they should go back to the basic, maybe automatic is ok because that is convenient for most people. But beyond that, I don’t think you need anything more and now with the telephone and connectivity in cars, you don’t even need a speaker or a sound system so I think it should be very basic and minimal cars should be made.
Watch Shahrukh Khan interview video from Auto Expo 2020 here:
Have you ever asked Hyundai to come with an SRK edition for India?
When we were phasing out the old Santro and bringing in the new one, at least they told me that this is the SRK Santro that they gave it to me. But I haven’t asked Hyundai to bring a car on my name as I think Hyundai itself is good enough. So if we already have a good thing, why spoil it!
What are your thoughts on the new Hyundai Creta?
I told Hyundai that let me see it from the inside and they said, it is just an unveil, not the launch. But the old one was very nice and I like what it looks like here, especially the black and silverish finish on the outside. So when it came on earlier, I think it was a very cool car so I got two of them and I still use them. Its a really nice SUV and the new one looks even better.
You have been associated with Hyundai for long. Tell us one thing that stands out the most for you.
Initially, when we started, nobody had advertised cars at that time. We are talking 23 years ago, for someone like me who just started out and to suddenly get associated with a car was a very big thing personally and professionally also. Even the advertising was very different than the other products that I do or was doing then. Everything else used to be more lifestyle, fun or comic but cars was a very special place. More often than not, I did not understand what I was speaking as there were technical bits initially like engine, horsepower or some new technology and we had to say all that.
So it was actually very strange for the first two years and I would keep telling that can we make it a bit normal because you are making me say these things which I don’t understand. I am not an expert in terms of what a car is from inside or even the outside so that was very awkward for me, the first two years. Then slowly when the name got established and they started going well, the brand became more lifestyle and firm when the Santro came.
How often do you get to drive yourself?
At night, earlier I used to drive a lot after night shifts that used to go on from like 7 in the evening to 3 or 4 in the morning, so the roads are clear that time. I really enjoy driving but unfortunately in traffic, it is no fun driving so sometimes in the evening, I take my kids out. I am teaching them to drive also so during evening and night time which is the best. We go to BKC, where the roads are empty and I can train them there. I used to love driving a lot but it’s unfortunate that I can’t as much as I would want to. I prefer driving in India and I am not very confident driving overseas unless it is for a film, of course. So I feel a little bad that I don’t get to drive because of the traffic.
Which is your favourite Hyundai car?
It has to be the Santro because it is an emotional attachment. All of the Hyundai products are good but for me, Santro still seems like the leading most car of Hyundai.
One feature that you think Hyundai should put in their next car?
I think almost everything is there in Hyundai cars. If there a system in which there is a WiFi system that surrounds the car and travels with it. Or maybe like using an inbuilt 4G sim card in the car but all of this is already there. But if it would have been at 1500 mbps for things to download faster. So I think that is the next big step to be able to stay connected at faster speeds while travelling. I have a vanity van and many years ago, I remember it had a satellite dish and when you were travelling, it used to turn around and it still used to get signals while travelling. So I think if we are able to get this faster WiFi connectivity around the car in its own cage, I think that would be amazing.
Have you ever done backseat driving with your kids driving the car?
I am teaching my son and he has more or less learned it now. I am a very confident guy and I have a huge amount of confidence. I believe anyone who is driving will drive the car well. I have never done backseat driving but yes travelling sometimes myself if I find whoever is driving me is cutting lanes and I find it very ill-mannered more than the safety part. So I am not a backseat driver and I am quite easy.
The only thing is that I sit on the left side and for some reason, it is not to sit behind the driver and to sit on the other side. So there is no other quirk that I have in a car or with backseat driving as I am confident that whoever is driving the car will drive it good.
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