A businessman from Gujarat, apparently a fan of James Bond, recently splurged Rs. 34 lakh in a bid to obtain ‘007’ numberplate for his SUV
James Bond is perhaps one of the most popular characters of the silver screen. Apart from his catchphrase, where he repeats his surname twice, his ‘007’ serial number is extremely famous as well, even among people who aren’t fans of the movies (or books). Recently, Ashik Patel, a businessman from Gujarat, obtained a ‘007’ numberplate for his Toyota Fortuner.
VIP numberplates (with fancy numbers) are quite common among people all over the world, and in India as well. Indulging in these pleasures has a price though, and this numberplate costed Patel Rs. 34 lakh. This is almost the same as the ex-showroom price of the Toyota Fortuner itself (Rs. 28.66 lakh to Rs. 36.88 lakh)!
The auction for this particular numberplate had begun online via an online portal, and the starting amount was just 25,000. The price escalated quickly though, and Ashik made his winning bid just minutes before the auction ended. According to him, the ‘007’ number is lucky for him, and his first vehicle also had a ‘007’ numberplate.
Toyota Fortuner is quite a popular SUV in the Indian market, and is considered to be a status symbol among buyers. It is the flagship vehicle in Toyota Kirloskar’s lineup. The Fortuner is available with two engine options in India – a 2.7-litre, naturally aspirated, inline-4 petrol engine, and a 2.8-litre, turbocharged, inline-4 diesel engine.
The petrol motor is good for a maximum power of 165 PS and a peak torque of 245 Nm, and can be had with either a 5-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed automatic. The diesel mill belts out 176 PS and 450 Nm, and gets a choice between a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission. The petrol variants are only available in RWD format, while the diesel models get AWD option on higher variants.
Toyota Fortuner will soon receive a facelift in the Indian market. The new version is expected to have a more powerful diesel engine, along with more features and equipment. A slight hike in prices is expected upon its launch, and select dealerships have already begun accepting bookings, albeit unofficially.