If money was no constraint...

Which are the fastest and smartest cars you can import? BT More gives you a few tips.

Kushan Mitra        Print Edition: January 27, 2008

Car importers are a dying breed, particularly with most luxury and ultra-luxury car brands wheeling their way into India, but there are some cars which you cannot find in any dealership in India, and if you want that little touch of exclusivity, to get a car that noone else in the world has, then importing one of these might be the only way out. Remember, you have to pay a huge amount of duty just to import these cars, so be warned. Most right-hand drive cars are only available from the UK or Japan.

 Alfa Romeo Spider

Alfa Romeo Spider
Well, there is a rumour that Alfa Romeo might come to India sometime in 2008. We don’t know that as yet, so if you want to buy an open-top, sexy looking piece of Italian machinery, you don’t have much of a choice. Why would we want this despite knowing that Alfas are sometime extremely temperamental? Well, because, just look at it: it’s beautiful, and the performance isn’t half bad either.

SPECS:

Engine:
3195cc V6
Power: 260 horsepower @ 6300rpm
0-100kmph: 7.0 seconds
Need to import from: UK
On road price: £28,995* (Manual) (approx. Rs 23 lakh)

Renault Sport Megane
230 F1 Team R26

Renault Sport Megane
A small car? Why would you want to import a small car, you might ask? Well, there is a very good reason. Because this is an amazingly good small car, with 227 horsepower and it can almost touch 250 kilometres per hour, leaving far bigger cars cold. Its six-speed gearbox is very smooth.

Needless to say, it wears the Formula 1 badge from Renault’s team and incorporates little F1 features. With Carlos Ghosn, Renault’s CEO, determined to sell Indians ‘cheaper’ cars, you will have to import this one if you want it.

SPECS:

Engine: 1998 cc 4-cylinder in-line
Power: 227 horsepower @ 5500rpm
0-100kmph: 6.5 seconds
Need to import from: UK
On road price: £19,570 * (approx. Rs 15 lakh)

Jaguar XKR

Jaguar XKR
If you are not buying an Aston, you can actually get a very nice piece of British motoring for a lot less—the Jaguar XKR. It is unlikely that the Tatas will start hawking these next to the Indica, but these could be ‘assembled’ in India, in case the Tatas win the bid to take control of the company.

Yes, the car does not come with a manual transmission and some of the parts look ugly, but this car is pretty. With a supercharged engine boosting out incredulous amounts of power, this car can beat far more expensive vehicles around a track or down a straight line.

SPECS:

Engine: 4196cc V8
Power: 416 horsepower
0-100kmph: 5.2 seconds
Need to import from: UK
On road price: £70,097* (approx. Rs 55 lakh)

Ferrari 599GTB

Ferrari 599GTB
Ok, the truth of the matter is that you will probably need to compete with some really rich people to get your hands on this car. Ferrari has a waiting list for this car that stretches on for more than a year and they really do not give a damn who you claim you are. Why should you have it? Simple, not only it is a Ferrari, it is a very good Ferrari, maybe one of the best ever. It looks pretty and drives better still and it is the most powerful road-going Ferrari. But be warned: this car attracts attention like no other vehicle.

SPECS:

Engine: 5999cc V12
Power: 620 horsepower (maximum)
0-100kmph: 3.7 seconds
Need to import from: Ferrari direct
On road price: In excess of $250,000* (approx. Rs 1 crore)

Aston Martin DB9

Aston Martin DB9
Make no mistake about it, this is one of the most beautiful cars on the planet, and Daniel Craig uses one when he is 007. This is not a car for the simply well-off, this is a car for the wealthy. Actually, this is a car for the stupendously wealthy who enjoy driving themselves. Of course, if you would be buying an Aston you should know that this car actually has artificial intelligence to monitor the engine at all times, and the engine manages to push this steel, leather and wood masterpiece to over 300kmph.

SPECS:

Engine: 6000cc V12
Power: 450 horsepower
0-100kmph: 4.9 seconds
Need to import from: UK
On road price: £109,000* (approx. Rs 85 lakh)

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