Return of the Legend; Re-Inventing the Old Classic
While browsing through the milestones in Indian history, something interesting struck me. We have a national bird, the Peacock and a national animal, the Bengal Tiger. What if we had a national automobile? What would it be? Well, the first name that came to my mind was that of The Hindustan Motors Ambassador. The legend dominated the Indian roads and reigned over 74 years of incredible history of the Indian motor car.
As I was growing up, I took special interest in automobile design and used to make sketches of my father’s vehicle/ truck often. The passion for sketching and designing grew since then. I tried experimenting with new design possibilities for the existing vehicles of the time which helped me to explore the hidden beauty of it.
I had the passion for creating things and this passion pulls you in full-throttle and makes you thirsty for more. I love German technology and Italian design. Why not blend those concepts to perceive the perfect classic car? It’s time to re-invent a new design and that should be perfectly Indian.
Experts claim that the success and decline of Ambassador was due to its design. Since 1942, the Ambassador ruled Indian roads and was considered to be a symbol of pride and luxury. But emerging competition offered better design, higher levels of fuel efficiency, more comfort, and more benefits. The elegant British design offered more classy and royal features. This dominated the Indian automotive industry at that time. (in 1942)
As a designer, I’m trying to redesign the Ambassador, from the ground up and I call it, the ‘Grandeur’.
My Take on the Design
50% of user experience and 50% of creativity make a good design. Even performance of a car depends on the small lines and bends on its body. To make a new design, the key is observation and user trends. The design process is important where a single line or sketch speaks volumes.
At the first glance, one observes that ‘Grandeur’ has changed the structure from the previous model. Let’s come closer. It gets a small facelift with very clear and rounded headlights supplemented with chrome and iconic fog lamps which give an extremely classy look, similar to Ambassador’s design pattern. The front grille also gets a dash of chrome covering with a honeycomb design and lower lip.
With redesigned side panel and character line, there is a prominent difference in the aerodynamic drag. 8 Spoke 16″ Alloy wheels and reduced ground clearance make a bold statement in comfort and stability. Shark fin antenna and chrome covered front & back door glasses give an elegant look and feel. I chose the thigh-muscle line above the rear wheel to give emphasis on the beauty with a hint of boldness.
Inspired by the Ambassador, the tail lamps are redesigned and have a rounded edge with clear lens. There is a chrome bar above the logo as the attempt was to keep the character same. The rear bumper is simple and stylish but a little bigger than the traditional Ambassador. Dual exhaust pipes have a chrome cover with a chrome stripe lining on the bumper.
A New Ray of Hope with Peugeot
In February 2017, the French car manufacturers Peugeot acquired the Ambassador from Hindustan Motors. With the new acquisition by the reigning champion, Peugeot, we can hope that the legend will be back with greater lustre and glory.
© Sheethal Krishna