Tuned: Shots Fired, Underground 8.1
The smell of petrol! What a rush. Whether or not people care to admit it, every car and bike enthusiast loves the smell of petrol! The feeling is similar to waking up to a pot of freshly brewed coffee! You can’t help but get up with a smile no matter how hungover you are. This smell of petrol is exactly what we were greeted with as we rolled into the parking lot of Underground 8.1.
Not to compartmentalise people but car guys fall into a very simple niche of people where along with a love of all things on wheels (usually pretty fast), they also share a lot of common interests. Things such as music, watches, action packed movies and everything high adrenaline. The Underground 8.1 was exactly that. A place for enthusiasts from all walks of life to come and have a great evening together and probably even get buzzed on petrol fumes caused by the fact that probably 20 cars were revving their nuts off at once.
Counter culture is extremely important. It gives these enthusiasts an avenue to properly and to an extent safely explore their fascination and obsession of all things on wheels. It allows them to get their inner hooligan out to play with other like-minded hooligans. It might not be to everyone’s liking but it is important. It does get rowdy with the loud noises. The incessant revving, burnouts, bike stunts, skaters and so on. But that is why the event is an invite-only affair. Ensuring that everyone at the event is there to have a great time. That is exactly what any car lover worth their salt would do at an event such as this. There was such a wide variety of cars to feast your eyes on. It was almost unreal.
Right from vintage Maruti SS80s, to an entire troupe of Volkswagen Polos all in different states of tunes, to some insane supercars such as Ferrari’s latest – the 296 GTB. There was something there that would tickle almost anyone’s fancy. Now I’m not going into detail to tell you about each and every car that was there, but here are some of the cars that really made the hair on the back of my neck stand. As soon as we entered we were greeted by a clean example of a Lamborghini Aventador, a very tastefully done Tata Tiago that industry boss man Adil Jal Darukhanawala couldn’t stop raving about, a horde of AMGs, M cars and even RS from the German trios. Other supercars that graced the event included the McLaren GT, Lamborghini Huracan, a heavily modded Ferrari 488 Pista, to name a few. There were a bunch of JDM- spec cars with underbody lighting and stage god-knows-what tunes that definitely tested the structural integrity of the basement we were in. The highlight of the JDM cars however was the Nissan GT-R. Not just any ordinary Gojira though. This one is India’s fastest and holds the record for the fastest quarter mile in the country as of now. As the office bike guy I also have to mention the presence of a red hot Italian I was itching to take home — the Ducati 999. Being there made me feel like I was right in the middle of a Fast and Furious movie and I was almost anticipating Dominic Torreto pulling up in one of his Chargers to explain to us the importance of family.
Other activities included some skateboarders and cyclists trying to defy the laws of gravity and physics with their stunt shows. A bunch of bike stunters trying to find the right way to sit and stand on a motorcycle, more often than not with just one wheel on the ground (barely). Then for some reason the rear tyre of a motorcycle was set on fire during a burnout. But all of this was child’s play compared to what followed. Indian drift legend Sanam Sekhon took our breath away. Quite literally. He was drifting his 2JZ Lexus GS300 in the basement with the precision you expect neurosurgeons operating on someone’s brain to have. Sekhon was completely sideways and inches away from the pillars, and other cars on display. This was one of those situations where you don’t only need mega gonads to perform such stunts but also to stand close enough to the action. After this he performed a few burnout donuts and most of us there walked away with rubber-lined lungs.
As I mentioned, the Underground event is invite only. And it would be disrespectful to not show up in something that would leave jaws on the floor. And that’s exactly what we at evo India did. We rolled in with a crackle, bang and pop. Well, not really. We got the flagship Audi RS e-tron GT and the Mercedes- AMG GT 63 S E Performance. Both at the cutting edge of technology. The all-electric Audi is the most powerful car to wear the four rings while the car from Affalterbach is the most powerful production AMG. Rolling into a loud event in absolute silence where prosperity is measured by how many dBs your car produces was interesting to say the least. The AMG finished in a bright shade of orange and the Audi with its spectacular Matrix lights definitely attracted a lot of attention. After all, performance is performance no matter what is burnt or charged to attain it.
Car culture in India has come a long way and events such as this are testament to that. There were cars of all different shapes and sizes there and people who love talking about it. There’s loud music, loud cars, flashing lights and enough activities to jumpstart a flatlining heart. To top it all off, it was also the premiere of the latest Fast and Furious movie – Fast X. So once everyone was done inhaling petrol and rubber fumes, they were treated to the latest and greatest in high-octane automobile action movies. Whoever said car culture in India is not strong clearly hasn’t been to the Underground events. Jeet Tapaswi and his troupe that run Tapaswi Racing, the company responsible for the yearly Underground events have outdone themselves this time around.