Here’s a fact. When Issue 1 of Autocar India hit the stands in 1999, a grand total of zero cars on sale could hit 250kph. today, there’s over three dozen cars on sale in India that can wind their speedo needles, analogue or digital, past that mark. these cars come in all shapes and sizes, of varied power outputs and, of course, across an equator-wide price band.
But what is the most affordable way to experience 250kph? Our fourwheeled finalists comprise entries under the new, used and tuned headers. and if bikes are your thing, then there’s something in here for you too. Don’t have a need for speed? We’ve also listed out your other entry points to the ‘250’ club.
New Skoda Octavia RS 245 – Rs 42 lakh
Okay, this Was a bit contentious even at the office. Can the Skoda Octavia RS 245 be considered ‘new’, given that we got it in the model’s run-out phase? And is it even on sale to qualify as new? Well, by virtue of it being launched in India this year, it’s ‘new’. and while it is true, Skoda has allocated each of the 200 cars for India, there have been a few cancellations since the COVID-19 crisis came to the fore. Long story short, there’s still an outside chance you could get your hands to the keys of an Octavia RS 245, and… happiness. Yours for about Rs 42 lakh (on-road) the Octavia RS 245 is not quite the flagbearer for affordable performance in India as its predecessors were. Even so, the RS 245 proves to be an express ticket to serious performance. Under the hood breathes a potent 2.0-litre TSI turbo-petrol motor that puts out a commendable 245hp and 370Nm of torque. A 7-speed DSG gearbox, with launch control, helps put down power cleanly through the front wheels. From standstill, 100kph is dismissed in a scant 6.6sec (claimed). Keeping your foot pinned to the throttle will have the Octy go on and on till the electronic limiter cuts in at 250kph. And the Octavia RS 245 isn’t just a straightline star. A trick differential and a stiffened and lowered suspension mean you’ll be beaming after a go in the twisties too. Missed the boat? Your next-best bet to 250kph is the BMW 330i sport that costs about Rs 48.5 lakh.
Used 2013 BMW 530d – Rs 18 lakh
Finding an affordable used car that’ll breach 250kph isn’t as hard a task as you’d imagine. There’s a whole load of German machines from the early 2000s that meet the cut, and that too for new compact sedan money. However, in the interest of (relative) peace-of-mind ownership, we thought it prudent to add a seven-year cap as a filter. And that helped whittle the list down to our eventual pick, the 2013 BMW 530d (F10). Sensational when new, the 530d is a car that thrills even today. Its 3.0-litre, straight-six diesel engine is a gem that will make a convert of the most ardent petrolheads. Torque, rated at 560nm, is the name of the game and you can feel the push in the small of your back. 100kph comes up in just over 6sec but even more special is the unrelenting manner in which the 530d pulls on till the limiter cuts in at 250kph; superman in a business suit, really. Scout around for a low-mileage example and expect to spend about Rs 18-20 lakh on one.
Tuned Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI – Rs 10 lakh
There’s a reason why the Skodas have featured in a fair few modification pieces in autocar India over the years. Built tough and engineered for German autobahns, a Skoda makes a brilliant (and safe) base for a go-faster project car. The Skoda Laura would be our weapon of choice for a 250kph+ project. With its 160hp, 1.8-litre turbo-petrol engine and 6-speed manual transmission, the stock model oozes potential. You can pick up a 2009 Laura TSI for as little as Rs 3 lakh. Then, the essentials you need for hitting the 250kph barrier are an ECU remap and a bigger turbo, in addition to a grippier set of tyres with the appropriate high speed rating and the larger brakes for added stopping power. These upgrades will set you back by a couple of lakhs, though it’s still possible to have an all-in figure of under Rs 10 lakh. The caveat? The cost of the job is also a function of how quickly you wish your car to get to maximum velocity.
Bike: Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX – Rs 10.79 lakh
250Kph is quite a difficult speed to achieve on a mid-capacity, mid-budget motorcycle. There are plenty of naked sport bikes that can get close, but not quite there. These include the Triumph Street Triple RS, KTM 790 Duke, Kawasaki Z900 and the Ducati Monster 821. The issue lies in the complete lack of wind protection, which plays a big role as speeds cross the 150kph mark. Naked bikes also tend to prefer shorter gearing, which creates a stronger punch at the expense of top speed. To properly reach 250kph, you’re going to need a little more, and that’s just what the Rs 11.7 lakh (on-road) Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6r has to offer. Its 130hp output isn’t much higher than the Z900’s, but this screaming Supersport uses different gearing, along with its racy aerodynamics, to just about touch 260kph on the clocks. Unfortunately, the ZX-6r is not yet available in BS6 form, but Kawasaki has another solution in the BS6 Ninja 1000SX, which has just been launched. This 142hp bike will cost around Rs 10.79 lakh and it should get you to about 250kph as well.
For all the fuss around 250kph, it’s a speed you might just have experienced without even knowing. Fact is, anyone who’s flown in a plane has. A typical airliner like the Airbus A320 takes off at about 240-290kph. Speed in the air is a whole different matter. But with the COVID-19 situation playing out, it might be some time before we feel that thrilling build of speed again.
The other cheapest ways to 250
At Rs 48.5 lakh, the BMW 330i Sport is the most affordable car to put out over 250hp of power – 258hp, to be precise.
Of course, it had to be a diesel, right? The Nexon 1.5 diesel’s 260Nm and Rs 9.66 lakh starting price win it a spot on this list.
250mm ground clearance
Land Rover Defender 110s (starting Rs 88.53 lakh) get air suspension as standard that gives the option to vary ride height from 218mm to a whopping 291mm.
Till such time as the BS6 Yamaha FZ25 makes an appearance, the Bajaj Dominar 250 (Rs 1.85 lakh) is the most affordable 250cc category bike on offer.
“How much for the lot?”
Rs 26,105 – that’s the combined list price of all 250 issues of Autocar India magazine. Want to start your collection today? We have a few celebratory offers to make the deal sweeter!
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