The Good Life

Power wheels

Three mean machines that will fuel the auto enthusiast in you

Getting yourself a set of wheels that deliver a driving experience like no other, comes in many shapes and sizes. From powerful hatchbacks to performance sedans, coupes and supercars, the choices that exist are many and the money involved, really doesn't have an upper limit. Having said that, if you are looking for a machine that can get your adrenaline pumping, but you want to be reasonable about your purchase and not charge into supercar territory; then cars such as the Volkswagen Polo GTi, Mini Cooper S and Ford Mustang come to mind.

While everyone is familiar with the Volkswagen Polo, the GTi version is a completely different beast. Offered only as a three-door variant, the Volkswagen Polo GTi has a few signature features that differentiate it from its regular sibling. Tell-tale signs include the honeycomb grille up front, dual cluster LEDs, chrome exhaust tips and of course the GTi badging. The cabin also exudes that sporty appeal thanks to the signature GTi red stripes and stitching. Having said that, the real story lies under the hood as the GTi runs a powerful 1.8-litre TSI petrol unit that produces 192PS of power and 250Nm of torque. Combined with an automatic 7-speed DSG gearbox, the GTi is capable of going from 0-100km/h in 6.7 seconds which essentially makes it the fastest hatchback available in India, today. Thierry Lespiaucq, managing director, Volkswagen group sales India, describes this model, “The GTI has been a symbol of performance for automobile enthusiasts and a very compelling proposition for Volkswagen. The GTi forayed into India recently and has worked its way into the hearts of automobile aficionados, with 192 PS of power the carline is the fastest hot-hatch in India that offers an extreme adrenaline rush. The power-packed GTi badge stands for superior performance and versatility that redefines the hatchback segment with its mighty offering.”

Owned by BMW Group, Mini, as a brand, represents a carefree attitude which offers a big thing in a small package and has a carefree attitude about it. It is quirky, British and all about the joys of motoring. Whether you draw your inspiration from the Italian Job movie, or the fact that Mini is an iconic brand worth owning; the one thing that you are assured of is a solid rush when you get behind the wheel and take it out for a spin. Vikram Pawah, president, BMW Group India further adds, “Mini has established itself as a unique brand with its iconic design, legendary ‘Go-Kart’ handling combined with cutting-edge technology and uncompromising premium quality. It is one of the world’s most emotional brands.” That said, the Mini Cooper S takes the performance element up a notch over the rest of the range, as it offers a 190 hp motor that is capable of taking the car from 0-100km/h in 6.7 seconds flat! The aerodynamic package on the exterior includes the track style air ducts and to add that bit of muscle to the package, is the large bonnet scoop that is a signature feature on the Cooper S along with the distinctive ‘S’ badging that ensures you don’t mistake this car for anything else. Known for its handling prowess, the Mini Cooper S is a hoot to drive.

Bringing their best to India with the Mustang, Ford India opened the doors to a whole new performance infused experience. The iconic car has been a bestseller in left-hand-drive markets across the globe for years, however in the car’s 50-year history; this is the first time that a right-hand-drive version has been made. Speaking about the Mustang, Anurag M, managing director, Ford India, said, “The Mustang is more than just a car. The way the Mustang looks, drives and sounds is key to the visceral experience that makes drivers just want to get in the driver’s seat and hit the road. It gives you the freedom to express and epitomises the passion and fun-of-driving inherent in all Ford vehicles. The success of Ford Mustang has added to the shine of the blue oval along with the rest of the Ford range in India and helped us demonstrate our potential.” The legendary pony car comes with a 5.0 litre V8 engine that delivers 401 horses and 515 Nm of torque. It is capable of going from standstill to 100km/h in a shade under 5.0 seconds and power is sent to the rear wheels via a slick 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel. Add to that, the Mustang boasts of four distinct driving modes that allow you to change the setup of the car to suit your driving style. Being behind the wheel of the Mustang is a feeling like no other as you get to live with a legend.

Each of these cars offers a distinct experience to fuel the driving enthusiast in you. They are tuned to delight with every prod of the accelerator pedal and an adrenaline rush is almost a guarantee as you pilot one of these machines around. When you do find that open stretch of tarmac and get to unleash all those horses under the hood just remember to play safe.

The writer is an editor with MotorScribes and tweets at @VikramGour