Hindustan Ambassador launched a new version of its Ambassador car, without much fanfare in March 2011. Considered as the definitive Indian car and fondly referred to as "The King of Indian roads", the Amby, the oldest automobile of India seems to "simply refuse to die". The company undertook a massively ambitious makeover, to pep up its declining popularity. Hindustan Motors plans to continue manufacturing the old Ambassador for the taxi segment and expects the new version to be well accepted by the buyers.
Ambassador cars, built on the Morris Oxford III (1956 to 1959) model, have been in production since 1954. In India, Ambassador Cars are built in the Uttarpara plant of Hindustan Motors, near Kolkata, West Bengal. The plant has been manufacturing the old Ambassador 1500 and 2000 cc diesel, 1800 cc petrol and CNG and LPG Variants in the passenger vehicle segment along with the 1-tonne payload HM Shifeng Winner, the 1500 cc diesel car.
The car enjoyed immense popularity in the Indian market as it had good suspensions which were considered ideal for the rugged Indian terrain. Ambassador attained an iconic status, ruling as the most preferred car for the Indian politicians. Some of the prominent politicians including Mrs. Sonia Gandhi still prefer to use the Ambassador.
Hindustan Ambassador followed the launch with a diesel and CNG variant. The new ambassador comes in six colour options - Jet Black, Lunar Silver, Fire Brick Red, Oyster Blue, Ecru Beige and Crystal White.
The new Ambassador has been launched in a petrol version and is a BS-IV compliant. Ambassador Grand is powered by an 1817 CC engine which produces an output of 71 bhp of maximum power @ 4800 rpm and maximum torque of 134.3 Nm @ 2250 rpm. The engine, derived from Isuzu is mated with a 5-speed manual gearbox. The Ambassador Grand has an MPFI engine with ECU in the new retro and 1800 ISZ for easy cold start.
The popular suspension system comprises of independent suspension with torsion bar springs at front and semi-elliptical leaf springs which take care of the drives on uneven roads of India.
Ambassador Grand features side indicators with Escutcheon. The car has rear-view mirror and headlamp with clear glass and features power steering, which facilitates easy manoeuvrability. Hindustan Motors has worked on the interiors of the car, making it more spacious. The car has been provided with power windows, a music system, moulded door pad and mobile charger. The car has a digital tripmeter with multi-trip option along with a malfunction indicator which lights up when the engine needs a checkup.
The new ambassador has a full-wheel hub cover and soft-touch door handle and a diamond cut tail lamp. The car has been used as taxicab and as a government limousines, this fact alone speaks volumes about the build quality, sturdiness and luxury quotient of the car. Its dependability, spaciousness and comfort factor have made it the most preferred car for generations of Indians. Ambassador, the only automobile to ply Indian roads for more than five decades now, has carved a special niche for itself in the passenger car segment.
The improvements include improved suspension, smoother gears and ergonomically designed plush seats with wider tyres, contributing to high levels of driving comforts. Ample space in the boot also provides space for luggage. Front disc brakes for effective braking are also perfectly ideal for the Indian roads. The Ambassador stands tall on 15-inch radials. The Ambassador's time-tested, tough, accommodating and practical characteristics make it a truly Indianised car.