The lion is back!

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(Image: Gaurav Chandrasekhar)

imagine your boyhood room, the walls of which are covered with posters of some of the most stunning cars in the world. And now imagine you grow up and get a chance to get behind the wheel of these very poster-worthy supercars – that’s a dream. A Super dream that’s turned into reality and the brand you have grown on is in your own garage. Ladies and Gents I am overwhelmed in introducing myself and my very excited team who drinks petrol for coffee for the TopGear 2.0 stint. If you’ve ever followed automobiles even remotely in your lifetime, chances are really good that you would know that TopGear is the most creative motoring media brand in the world today, known for dishing out some of the best automotive content there is.

And with BBC TopGear Magazine India 2.0, I promise to keep that flag soaring high in the Indian skies. The next issue onwards it will be business as usual as you and I would have known each other a little more, but for the last 14 years I have been running Exhibit – one of India’s foremost technology and lifestyle magazine. The past decade and half has seen me wired up with all things technology first and racing up sleek cars month after month, and making sense of it in our todays’ lifestyle.

Safe to say I have encountered many computer viruses over the years some of which even trickled to smartphones, but nothing like Coronavirus that is shaking up the world. The automobile industry has anyways been playing a dirty basketball match between BS6, GST, and the overall slowdown. And just when the ball was in line to park itself in the hook, the strong winds of the Coronavirus have swept it away. Most manufacturers have at least some components being sourced from China, which has been largely shut for over a month now. On the brighter side, this is a huge opportunity for auto ancillary industries in India and other countries to change gears and drive right in. Car sales in China are down by as much as 92 percent and if the trend continues it will wreak havoc for car makers across the world as they are not only dependent on China for sourcing components but also for sales as China is also one of the biggest automotive markets in the world!

Business can never be easy if the goalposts keep moving, but enthusiasts have great reasons to cheer about. Among the many launches – BBC TopGear India being one of them – there’s enough and more automobiles to rejoice about – be it Audi’s flagship SUV, the Q8 or the other juicy orange we’re featuring this month, the KTM 390 Adventure. Of course, talking SUVs, our cover story for the inaugural issue is an exclusive review of the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe, the newest from German luxury car maker which created quite a stir at the 2020 Auto Expo. March is always a big month for the automotive industry with sales numbers hitting their annual high and expectedly, we’ve had a slew of launches last month, driving us motor-noters crazy given the number of events we’ve been to.

Coming back to the dreamy side of things, ogling at seductively shot images of McLarens or Bugatti’s or listening to V8s and V10s roar is what escapism is all about and impels us to dream about owning one, someday perhaps. So we have some of the most stunning feature stories parked in our inaugural issue as well – just for you! Here it is, the first issue of BBC TopGear Magazine India 2.0, in your hands or on your screen, whatever revs your engine. We look forward to hearing your feedback – keep it flowing however crazy it is. Because a bit of craziness makes life interesting and some very interesting times lie ahead.