According to our friends at Overdrive, the Ambassador – one of India’s best-loved cars – may well be heading for a rebirth. The Hindustan Ambassador was very much a part of, and was reflective of, India’s social fabric for the best part of five decades. Based on the Morris Oxford, it enjoyed a long production run, so much so that many of you might not realise that it passed away as recently as 2014. That, we thought, was that.
However, rumours of its upcoming return are emerging from India. The story is growing on the back of PSA’s purchase of the Ambassador brand in 2017 for around €10m. When asked why PSA would do such a thing, Overdrive speculated, ‘…presumably, they see the intrinsic value in a brand, which not only epitomises an India of the past, but also an India of a future, which embraces its past, its immediate industrial history and yet wishes to furrow a tomorrow that is distinctively Indian in design, usage, comfort and robustness.’
The Indian website suggests that PSA could be looking at lightly facelifting the Citroën C-Elysee for a retro reboot. The low-priced saloon is currently manufactured in both China and Spain, with the factory at Vigo (in Spain) supplying the European market. The C-Elysee is a mid-sized, front-wheel-drive saloon, based on a platform shared with the Peugeot 208 and the 301, and has dimensions very similar to that of the Ambassador.
The Citroën version of the Ambassador will be much more refined than the old classic, but it might struggle to emulate that car’s period charms, too. We’ll be following this development with interest, as PSA’s plan for world domination leaves no stone unturned. And no, it’s not the first of April!