DC Design Avanti rolls up in New Delhi

DC Design Avanti live shot
DC Design Avanti live shot
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DC Design, an Indian firm better known for creating one-off customized vehicles based on anything from the Tata Nano to Rolls-Royce coupes, has officially pulled the covers off its first production supercar at the New Delhi Auto Expo. Called the Avanti, we can't help but wonder what esteemed designer Raymond Loewy might think of this creation.

We're not going to call this Audi-R8-meets-duckbill-platypus attractive, though we do spot design themes borrowed from the likes of Ferrari and Lotus (and there's probably a bit of Bertone Mantide in there, too). Somehow it manages to be both somewhat derivative and distinctive at the same time, with proportions unlike that of most supercars from Europe.

Regardless of its styling, we can get behind the idea of a low-cost supercar – its expected 30 lakh rupees in India translates to about $56,000 at current exchange rates – powered by small-displacement engines relying on turbocharging to produce adequate power. The initial engine will be sourced from Ford, an EcoBoost 2.0 liter putting out 265 horsepower, mated to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission, so perhaps calling this a "supercar" is overstating its case.

Later, a version of the machine will be offered with a Honda-sourced turbocharged V6 producing something around 400 horsepower. The base Ford engine will reportedly be sufficient to hit 60 miles per hour in under seven seconds and the turbo V6 will surely be quicker. DC Design hopes to build about 200 units in 2013 and plans to ramp up to a few thousand in the coming years.
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DC Design launches India's first ever Supercar- DC Avanti

India's legendary actor and automobile buff Amitabh Bachchan unveils the car in the capital today

New Delhi, January 05, 2012 - DC Design, India's premier automotive design firm has taken a step beyond what it is known and revered for, with its reveal at Auto Expo today, of what is the country's first ever sports car, the sleekly styled and superbly configured DC Avanti.

What makes this a special occasion is that the Avanti is not just a full road worthy prototype but one with production firmly pencilled in!

DC intends to go the way of so many Italian carrozzerias (like Bertone, Ghia, Pininfarina and Stola to name four) who not only styled, designed and engineered smashing sports cars but also went on to make them in limited production runs for sale to the general public.

DC will be doing just that with the Avanti which is being readied for a production run beginning 2013 and none other than the legendary India cine genius and informed motoring buff Amitabh Bachchan was on hand to take the wraps off this glorious rolling sculpture. While DC has done some amazing work over the past decade including prototypes for so many of the world's big name car manufacturers, he has never done a production run of any of his designs, concentrating on one-offs. All that is destined to change with the DC Avanti, a move that adds another dimension to the multi-faceted design and engineering capability that DC Design has built up at its Pune works!

Speaking at the launch of the project very dear to his heart (and which he had nurtured for so many years), Dilip Chhabria, the guiding tour-de-force at DC Design said, "We are extremely ecstatic to present the DC Avanti today and it is a manifestation of not just the burgeoning interest in high end sports cars but also as a calling card for our own capabilities which have now progressed from mere styling in the early days to full prototyping and bespoke one-off manufacturing. Every country which has written its name in the pantheon of automobile manufacturing has invariably distinguished itself with sports cars by its own nationals and I thought that India rightly needs to be in this exclusive club."

"The Indian market for high end automobiles is on a steep uphill curve as witnessed year-on-year and our focus is at the top end of this rarified niche. The design is completely our very own as is the engineering and also the production process. Type approval and on-road tests would follow soon and we intend to simultaneously set up an all new facility at Talegaon near Pune to build this vehicle," said Dilip.

"We intend to produce 300 units of the Avanti in 2013-2014 and if all goes well we could ramp up production to go into four figures per annum. Till now DC Design was noted for its design and customization but then we added complete engineering and prototyping to our roster of services and working for the world's biggest names helped us understand and add to our expertise," added Dilip. "The Avanti is an ongoing culmination of all that we have learnt and we intend to give a sports car to a select new emerging breed of car buyers who value good taste without compromising on performance and who don't need to spend a fortune on making the adrenaline flow." He further added.

The Avanti supercar doesn't reinvent the wheel in the basic process of manufacturing a high tech sports car because in time honoured specialist car production DC Design will be using proprietary parts from various car makers, especially in the areas of drivetrain and suspension. The Avanti would be powered by a specially tuned Ford EcoBoost 2.0-litre four-cylinder, dohc, 16-valve engine. This unit not only features turbocharging with direct injection but also features VVT (variable valve timing) and this helps it to dish out power and torque which normally are on par with a larger 3.0-litre engine. Max power will be 240bhp at 5500rpm with a massive 366 Nm of torque developed at 3500rpm helping give it both tractability and thrust. If that is not all, the latest electronics will also help deliver strong on the fuel efficiency front as well. Also the engine and its ancillaries are all Euro 4 & 5 compliant already meaning it would be right even for the export markets but the good thing is that it could also be taken further to the incoming Euro 6 legislation with a slight change in the engine mapping characteristics.

Handling all that power and torque from the mid-mounted four-cylinder engine is a six-speed manual gearbox. Again sourced from the Ford Europe parts bin, this transmission is robust and reliable and does all it is tasked with. There will also be another transmission option for those who seek an even higher technological plane with a six-speed dual clutch Power Shift unit.

The Avanti will have a light weight but very strong space frame chassis using a mix of square, rectangular and round sections to get the best strength and rigidity across the dynamic spectrum. Suspension is in time honoured sports car fashion with unequal length wishbones all around working in conjunction with coil over shock absorbers. Agile, quick and ultra-responsive, the Avanti promises performance and visual erotica at a cost to quality proposition that will be second to none. Hydraulically assisted rack and pinion steering gear will be standard fitment.

Specialists in safety engineering which include the likes of Bosch would be lending their might in developing the latest generation ABS brake systems and SRS air bag technology for the Avanti; ride and handling would be perfected by global experts in this realm and overall body and trim plus final assembly would be done at DC Design's all new production facility coming up at Talegaon near Pune. The Avanti will be electronically limited to 250km/h and will ride on 19-inch tyres all round. Footwear on the front wheels would be of size 255/35-19 while 295/30-19-sized rubber would do duty at the rear. Helping safety and control given the max velocity and acceleration the Avanti would pack in, large 330mm diameter ventilated disc brakes with grippy AP Racing callipers come as OE fitment.

The Avanti's low slung silhouette is pure excitement and is unlike any seen from an Asian automotive entity. Sporting a combination of pleasingly complex concave and convex surfaces to deliver great form, the Avanti is fast standing still with its rippling muscles akin to a wild animal waiting to spring onto its prey. Animalistic yet aesthetic in its essence but replete with fine craftsmanship across the entire vehicle, the Avanti can more than hold its own in its class.

DC has already put in place a unique and dedicated self-owned and managed sales and service network in five major metros in the country (Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad) and this would only be honed to a fine pitch by the time the Avanti production commences. An additional four outlets would also be opened in the course of 2012.

Bookings, on a first-come-first-served-basis will open soon, immediately after Auto Expo 2012 with deliveries scheduled from the last quarter of calendar 2013.

The big story doesn't end here, the feel good theme continuing on the price front as well. At Rs. 30 lakhs ex-showroom, the Avanti would be a stunner in more ways than one and a smile inducer cum big name basher made in India. More announcements on the Avanti and its bespoke customization to owner's trim and equipment preferences would follow soon.

Specifications of the car:


Type: 2.0L Four Cylinder

Maximum power: 240 BHP @ 5500 RPM

Maximum Torque: 270lb/ft of torque @3500 RPM

Transmission: MMT6 6speed

Turbocharged engine with direct injection and VVT DOHC Four valves per cylinder


Tubular space frame

Jig built

TIG welded


Unequal length double wishbones

Coil cover shock absorbers

Steering and Brakes

Rack and pinion

330 mm ventilated discs (Front and Rear) AP racing calipers Wheels


Rim size



255/35 19" x 8.5 J


1680 mm


Rim size



295/30 19" x 11 J


1660 mm



2700 mm


4623 mm


1967 mm


1213 mm

Front Over hang

993 mm

Rear Over hang

930 mm

Ground clearance

155 mm

Dry kerb weight

1562 kgs


DILIP CHHABRIA DESIGN PVT LTD was founded by Dilip Chhabria who is qualified in Transportation Design from Art Centre, Pasadena, USA. DC Design is recognized as the leading Automobile Designer in India. The company has participated directly in the Geneva motor show, and has always had its products displayed at all major auto shows in Detroit, Japan, Frankfurt and Paris in each exhibition year.

DC Design has a 600+ strong portfolio of unique cars/vehicles built and on the road. Its quality of styling and prototyping can be benchmarked against the best in the world. Its capacity of 1 million man-hours of skilled craftsmen translates styling sketches into handcrafted forms in metal/wood.

Its USP is to offer 1st world quality at 3rd world prices. Its product offerings span a wide range of vehicles – cars, buses, luxury vans, recreational vehicles, special purpose vehicles, passenger buses and automotive education and research.

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