In 1998, a small Kerala-based company decided to step into the world of auto mobility with a model of its own. The Rajah Group’s endeavour led to the creation of seven Kazwa’s, a name still very much prominent in the home-grown MPV segment.
India’s first privately custom-built car came just about two years before the MPV boost in the automotive sector. Created by a small-time beedi manufacturer, the Rajah Group’s Kazwa could have gone for a full scale production if only the market tides had been in their favour. However, only a total of seven Kazwa prototypes were ever produced, out of which only three remain as of today. Irrespective of its untimely discontinuation, the Kazwa was a true pioneer in every sense- be it the design which was way ahead of its time or even the thought behind creating an Indian MPV.
It’s been 22 years since its creation, yet the Kazwa still looks like it belongs to this day and age. The vehicle boasts a spacious interior for the entire family and appeals to the eye with an unusual vintage charm. The large windows make it seem even roomier while keeping ventilation and exterior visibility at the top. The simplistic design of this MPV is enhanced by the dual tone effect on the outer body. The minivan ran on a 2.0-litre, inline-4 cylinder, HM2004D turbodiesel engine which gave a peak power output of 56 bhp and 107 Nm torque mated to HM MSG 5T 5-speed manual transmission all synchromesh. While the engine kept this vehicle running, its soft-suspension ensured that passengers would not feel any bumps while on the road. Kazwa rides on independent wishbones, upper and lower arms, coil springs with anti-roll bars. Steering was power assisted rack and pinion. 1650 mm is the height, 4350 mm length, 1800 mm width and 2610 mm wheelbase with front discs and rear drum brakes. Some standard features include power windows, alloy wheels, dual air-conditioner, central locking, cassette player and power steering. Options included sunroof, metallic paint, powered outside mirrors and more customization.
MPVs have been hugely popular ever since they entered the global market, in 1936 with the Stout Scarab, courtesy of their utility in daily lives. The small size passenger vehicle boasts a usage that expands from daily lives to family tours. The Rajah Motors Kazwa did not shy away from offering even more options of a sunroof and alloy wheels as personalisation. The vehicle, even wider than big MPV names like Toyota Innova, also sported 13 inch tyres and a plastic cladding on metalframe reinforced platform.
Market success or not, some vehicles are better not judged on those basis and the Kazwa is one of those vehicles. The small Rajah Group successfully created a completely sale-worthy vehicle and even got it homologated. From its locally sourced materials to a simple yet unique design, Kazwa is worthy of being christened ‘The First MPV of India’.
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