In this melee, there’s two wheelers, private buses, state buses, auto rickshaws, private taxis, radio cabs, private vehicles, and of late supercars, all trying to get from one point to another. The image that’s been viewed over and over today sees a Lamborghini Aventador, BMW i8 and Ferrari Italia 458 driving side by side in a busy Bangalore street. If you were expecting them to take off at some point, it’s evidently impossible considering all 3 are pretty much waiting behind a BMTC bus. Even if the Lamborghini Aventador, and Ferrari Italia 458 did make the most of limited road space available, they’d gain only a single car space, so, it makes better sense to stick close to each other, and make the most of an opening at the opportune moment.
Driving in traffic in the country is pretty much a senseless activity in most cities, on most roads. Lane discipline on any given day at any point of time is next to zilch. Buses have no lane policy, and cars will slide along at touching distance. Somewhere within this chaos, two-wheelers will weave through, while cyclists pant forward.
A small bit of the general sense of indiscipline can be offloaded to road conditions. Sometimes moving in a straight line is not an option. Potholes and bumpy roads with random speed breakers are always on the prowl. There’s also signals that don’t offer guidance and road signs that are hidden in plain sight as though giving directions to a rave, or planted there to misguide road users. Driving within speed limits is a misguided effort. Speed limits set at 50 kmph on most city roads, and 80 kmph on highways is the most flouted norm. Yamuna Expressway has been generous and let’s one drive at 100 kmph. How one is supposed to keep within city speed limits is not specified anywhere.
There is the limited scope of permissions to drive on private runways and arterial runways at major airports during slow hours, but this isn’t an option that’s been exploited to potential in India. Those living within driving distance to Greater Noida often make teh most of the drive to the BIC track, and make the most of track days that are either manufacturer specific or cater to a supercar club.
A Lamborghini Aventador, BMW i8 and Ferrari Italia 458 driving together is no longer a sight that causes bystanders to gasp. In India, the average age for a luxury car buyer is about 35. The age group changes depending the car being purchased. The number of ultra-high net worth individuals in the country continues to grow with industrialists, business families, and young entrepreneurs being an essential part of the super rich mix. While, we’re not privy to the lives of this growing segment, their cars are often easy to spot.
Talks with European Union to outline India-EU Free Trade Agreement (EU FTA) negotiations came to naught two years ago. While talks are likely to resume, little looks to loosen up in regards to customs duty of 80 pct for small cars to 130 pct for luxury vehicles. The EU wanted customs duty to be reduced in time, but no progress has been made on that front. An Indian buyer pretty much ends of paying more than double the price listed as selling price for a vehicle. Without a doubt, the number of buyers has been growing. It does paint a telling picture of a growing affluent class.
This one is clearly a drive by one of the many supercar clubs in India wherein a few members choose to ride together for short distances rather than wait for a Sunday morning event for all members get together and drive a certain distance.