The DC Avanti is India’s first indigenous sportscar, produced by DC Design (DCD). DCD is headed by Dillip Chhabria- the renowned automobile designer whose portfolio includes the Aston Martin AMV8 Vantage Concept prototype.
This will be the company’s first production vehicle as it aims to become a “low-volume niche manufacturer” in India.
The Avanti is meant to target the young Indian crowd that is willing to compromise on performance in order to get the feel of a sportscar. It was first showcased as a concept car at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo, before DCD exhibited the production variant at the same event two years later.
More than $15 million have been invested into the project and the name, ‘Avanti’, is taken from the sports coupé produced by Studebaker in the 1960’s. Chhabria originally wanted the car to be named ‘Budh’, after India’s Formula One track, but the name did not get a positive response.
On the outlook, the Avanti looks stunning. The bi-xenon headlamps with daytime LED lighting, distinctive rear, V-shaped taillights, low-lung bonnet and sloping roof give the car a dynamic look. It is two-seater, mid-engine and and has the style and look of a sports car.
Although the Avanti is currently being produced on the outskirts of Pune, the work will be shifted to DCD’s Sanand plant in the Western state of Gujarat once the sales hit a nice patch. The chassis and suspension of the car have been locally produced, while the engine is supplied by Renault, although the car was powered by a Ford EcoBoost engine at the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo.
Nonetheless, the turbo-charged 2.0-liter motor will produce 248 hp and 340 Nm of torque. The power will be transmitted to the rear wheels of the car via a six-speed manual gearbox. DCD claim that the Avanti can cross the speed-barrier of 100 km/h in under six seconds and has an electronically limited top-speed of 200 km/h. These statistics may not be necessarily bad for a car that comes at the price of a Skoda Superb or a BMW 3-Series, but by sports car standards, they are mediocre.
The car weighs 1580 kilograms and carbon-fiber has been used to keep it lightweight. Interestingly, unlike most sports cars, the Avanti does not hug the tarmac. It has a ground clearance of 170 mm so that the car can be easily driven on Indian roads.
DCD will provide 10 colour options for the Avanti and apart from the standard features, customers will get a range of optional customisations that they can add to the car. These include Alcantara leather-seats, a sports-tune exhaust and custom matte paint.
DCD announced it would launch Avanti on 15 April, but it appears it would take them a bit longer. However, more than 700 bookings have been made for the highly-anticpated sports car with a selected few having already been delivered for feedback.
Avanti is priced upward of INR 3.5 million ($55,000), which makes it the cheapest sports car on the Indian roads, since imported vehicles are taxed at more than 100 percent in the Asian country. DCD will limit the production of the Avanti to 10,000 units before moving on to its next model.