Lateral Thinking

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BY
VIVEK VENUGOPAL

February 15

Despite its stonking 110bhp diesel, the old Hyundai Verna was never really an enthusiast’s first choice. We never featured one before but one day, we got a call from a college student saying he’s got one, we might like. On the outside, Vinu’s car looks striking. That is, by and large, owing to the lowered stance rendered by the H&R lowering springs and the 17 inch, 15 spoke HRS rims, now finished in white to match the body colour and shod with 205/40 Yokohama S-drives. A set of Hella 4000 Luminator upfront also give the Verna an imposing look.

The interiors have also been tastefully done with quality leather and like the exteriors, it is the minor touches that make it feel special. Open the trunk and you’re greeted by a world of coloured LEDs and well stacked audio gear. And then when you see the complete audio system with Rainbow Kick series components, Polk ovals at the rear, a Hertz HE series four channel amp and two JBL monoblocks for the twin JL audio 12” subwoofers, you know this car makes a great sound as well.

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To go with the stunning looks and splendid ICE system, Vinu decided to boost the fire power under the hood. So he replaced the stock air-filter with a Green cotton unit and also installed a Pete’s tuning box. He says that the H&R lower springs and the stickier, wider rubber coupled with strong Tar-ox G88 brakes have contributed towards improving the handling – the biggest concern in the Verna.

It shows how patience and some well chosen parts can turn a car with very little mod potential into something of a looker. For us, we are sold till we see a Verna that looks this good and drives this well.

Get the turbo on boost and it is a different story altogether. The car accelerates forward in proper tuned car fashion. There is no let up in power till 5500rpm and though most enthusiasts complain about the rev limit being lower on turbocharged cars, but there is no denying they are fast in every gear. This particular Laura sounds rorty thanks to its uprated Miltek exhaust system I got to throw around Ketan’s car on the same twisty bits where I did the Honda BRV that morning. Not only could I carry almost double the speed through a follow through, it still felt like child’s play in the Laura. The combination of good grippy tyres and the Bilstein B14 coilovers is hard to beat in the corners. Yes, these track focussed coilovers are a bit stiff for daily use, but it offers supercar levels of grip in the corners. The chassis feels even tighter thanks to Eibach antiroll bars and polyurethane bushes all around. And the Tarox G88 brakes with Strada pads are so confidence inspiring, you soon forget you are doing silly speeds all the time.

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BY VIVEK VENUGOPAL

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