It’s that time of the year when I, along with my select team, are walking the aisles and hallways of CES in Las Vegas, at the world’s largest stage for innovation in technology across all beats of journalism, including auto. This I have been doing ever since I started Exhibit 14 years ago.
2020 has been a year on which apocalypse movie plots can be based. The world has seen
nothing like it and humanity has quickly adjusted to what we now call the “New Normal.” I am also writing this piece sitting on a plane – my first ever since the movie plot turned into a reality tv show, where everyone is acting and watching at the same time. This time the plane takes me along with my team to Bangalore from where we drive to Hampi for a travelogue, coming up with the following issue: But the important thing is to restart life and press the refresh button. This is what we all want from 2021.
There are plenty of reasons to feel good about 2021. To begin with, the low of 2020 is an
absolute abyss from where the only way is upwards, second being the vaccine almost knocking on the door but so is a new strain of the virus. It’s complicated. For all petrolheads here, there are exciting cars coming this year including Volkswagen’s mid-size SUV Taigun which will excite the hottest segment in India, currently dominated by the Korean duo of Seltos and Creta. Circa April 2020 felt like the auto industry will be the worst hit. Of course when you have nowhere to go and when there are cut downs at every level, what would you expect? But it regained and is doing better than in 2019 and is keeping the whole Indian economy alive and kicking.
I could survive without a plane ride because I had an interesting set of 4 wheels to escape, sometimes for work and sometimes to keep me sane. We drove and reviewed 52 cars since our 1st issue of march and by the time we celebrate TopGear 2.0’s 1st Anniversary in March the number in the needle should read 75. You can blame the TopGear awards on Feb 2nd for that. Just to clarify, we are not complaining. Definitely not.
2020 also kept us busy with some of the hottest aspirational cars like the Lamborghini EVO RWD, the Audi Rs7 Sportback, the BMW M8 Coupe, and the Land Rover Defender, to the cars that kept the registration offices busy like the Kia Sonet, Hyundai Venue IMT, Mahindra Thar, and the massive comeback of Nissan with the Magnite is already looking very impressive.
If anything, 2020 proved that even the darkest clouds have a silver lining. With the calendar having turned its leaf, it is about time that we turn over a new leaf too and work towards a fresh start. Who knows, 2021 might prove to be as soothing and therapeutic as 2020 was traumatic and painful. In any case, here’s to new beginnings, and here’s to a fresh start!