Bengal’s growing affluence: The supercar culture of Kolkata

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Image Courtesy: www.teambhp.com and Kolkata Supercar Club

 

It’s before sunrise; while the city is shrouded under the cover of its cosy slumber, a few silhouettes trundle to Ballygunge Phari. The engines roar to life and by the time you have reached the end of this paragraph, they have already approached Quest Mall in Park Circus.

Say hello to the supercars of Kolkata – a city, which to the West, is still characterised by extreme poverty, crowded streets, livestock and jaywalkers.

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Image Courtesy: www.teambhp.com and Kolkata Supercar Club

 

From the Lamborghini Gallardo to the BMW Z4, from the Aston Martin Virage to the Ferrari Spider 458 or even the Bentley Continental GT convertible, Kolkata has an enviable supercar collection that swerves through the slow moving obstacle course of normal traffic.

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Image Courtesy: www.teambhp.com and Kolkata Supercar Club

 

In the line-up are Jaguar XJLs, F Types and a bevy of other beauties. While speed comes given with these beasts, racing is a strict no-no. A normal spin would probably include Red Road during the wee hours of night, the Rajarhat Expressway, or even NH2 before dawn and getting back home before the city woke up.

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Image Courtesy: www.teambhp.com and Kolkata Supercar Club

 

The recently concluded India Speed Week 2016 saw the city witness its supercar culture in full bloom. Every beast on four wheels vroomed the long stretch of Behala Flying Club, strutting acceleration, horse power and torque in all its glory, besides noted manufacturers exhibiting their products to automobile aficionados.

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Image Courtesy: Ankita Sharma

 

These 12-15 super cars have turbocharged engines, all capable of delivering more than 400 horse power; with 0-100 kmph times you will have to experience to believe.

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Image Courtesy: www.teambhp.com and Kolkata Supercar Club

 

Such is the city’s middle class obsessed with these aspirational supercars, that a cab aggregator’s marketing stunt involving a supercar ride for about 15 minutes went overboard, the app crashing every time the Supercar Tab was turned on, thanks to way more traffic than the app could handle at a fixed point of time.

The challenges, on the flipside, are daunting. And real. Bad roads, to start with, are a major deterrent for any car, for that matter. And bumping into a pothole is a problem, more so for cars with low ground clearance. Add to that a 140% tax on imported vehicles, concerns about after-sales services, challenges of finding spare parts and a general lack of road safety.

But, do they care? Not while they are on the wheel, seat belt on, foot on the pedal and ready to surrender.

 

 

 

 

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