In a country where cricket is a religion, Sachin Tendulkar has earned the God-like status for all the right reasons. Regarded as one of the greatest batsman of all time, the former Indian cricketer celebrates his 44th birthday today. Fondly referred to as Master Blaster, Sachin’s contribution in the game needs no introduction and his countless records speak for themselves. Cricket will always be his first love, however, he is also known for his penchant for cars. Like most Indians, his beginnings were humble. He started out with a Maruti 800, but today he owns the coveted BMW i8. Though he has owned quite a few cars in the past, we have shortlisted the top five that will always be his favourite –
Sachin’s current prize possession is a customised BMW i8 hybrid supercar. The ex-cricketer has owned a few Beemers in the past, but none as interesting as the latest one. Although bright red is the only official red colour for the i8, the one driven by Sachin gets a unique wine red shade - possibly a one-of-its-kind in the world. So in case, you happened to spot one, you now know whom it belongs to! A 1.5-litre three-cylinder twin scroll turbo engine that produces 231bhp and 320Nm of torque powers the rear wheels, while the front is powered by an electric motor that generates 131bhp. Combined, the i8 hyper car generates a total of 362bhp and 570Nm of torque that goes on to hit straight sixes like the master blaster himself. The vehicle is capable of doing a 0-100kmph in just 4.4 seconds.
Nissan GT-R 530
Sachin Tendulkar’s love for fast cars cannot keep him away from this one in particular, especially when it‘s the globally loved it Nissan GT-R that we are talking about. Back in 2011, Sachin imported the Nissan GTR 530 from Dubai to replace his Ferrari 360 Modena which was sold to a Gujarat based businessman. Not one for the faint hearted, the GT-R 530 is powered by a 4.4-liter twin turbo V6 engine that generates 530bhp of power and 612Nm of torque. Clearly the fastest of the lot, the vehicle thrills auto enthusiasts just like we all love his classic upper-cut over the slip shot. And just the way a ball races off to the boundary, the Nissan GT-R does a 0 to 100kph in just about 3 seconds.
Ferrari 360 Modena
This particular car has been at the centre of controversy unlike his other prized possessions. Back then, at the time of import, Sachin had sought an exemption from import tax and later when media made it a controversial subject, Fiat which owned Ferrari back then, agreed to pay 110 per cent custom duty. The Ferrari 360 Modena was presented to the ex-cricketer by Formula 1 great Michael Schumacher in 2002. Powered by a five-valve per cylinder, this V8 engine generates 410bhp of power and 388Nm of torque. The vehicle sprints from 0-100kph in just about 3.9 seconds, while its top speed is electronically restricted to 298kph. The sports car made passers-by stand up and take notice every time the vehicle passed, much like his hook shots for sixes.
Mercedes-Benz C36 AMG
Prior to Sachin Tendulkar switching over to the BMW ‘M’ range of cars, he owned the Mercedes-Benz C36 AMG. The only AMG in the country at the time, it was powered by a 3.6 litre 6-cylinder AMG unit that generates 280bhp of power. Manufactured between 1995-1997, the vehicle although decently fast, was one of the most modest cars in his collection. Just like Sachin’s perfect straight drive strokes, the C36 AMG was the best you could lay your hands on in the country back then.
Back in the eighties, every citizen in the country dreamed of owning a Maruti 800. Powered by an 800cc engine, it was indeed the zippiest and peppiest car to drive back then. Though he wanted to buy one in 1983, but could not do so due to financial limitations. However, with enough savings he finally managed to bring home his first car, Maruti 800 in 1989. He still has his first proud possession with him and is known to occasionally take it out for a spin.
Added bonus: As a token of respect and gratitude to the Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, Fiat introduced the Palio S10. The Sachin Tendulkar signature version was never owned by him, but it was limited to only 500 units and was sold as a limited edition model. The vehicle was only available in the high-end 1.6 litre engine Palio.
Although we are a bunch of auto journalists who eat, drink and sleep between cars, we do miss watching Sachin Tendulkar on the ground especially since we have grown up watching him play. Today, cricket seems like just another game without him. Happy Birthday Sachin Tendulkar!