DC Avanti Review
India's Own SupercarMonday, November 11, 2013
It's time for India to pat on its back. Say hello to this first Indian designed supercar, the DC Avanti, in the history of time! The Mumbai based automotive design house DC Design, headed by designing Guru Dilip Chhabria, has taken a step beyond what it is known and revered for, and unveiled the sleekly styled and superbly configured supercar at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo. The leading design 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. 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. 'Avanti' means 'forward' in Italian. The Dilip Chhabria car, as Avanti is popularly known as, is not just a concept car but one with production firmly pencilled in! The design is completely DC's very own as is the engineering and the production process. Planned to initiate a trial run in the beginning of 2013, the car will be built at the newly set up facility at Talegaon near Pune. The sports car aims our car buyers who value good taste without compromising on performance, without spending a fortune on making the adrenaline flow! Bookings are already on and the deliveries are scheduled from the last quarter of 2013.
The sports car's looks are fabulous. The front end is stunning; inspiration from the Ferrari 458 is clearly visible. The low slung and wider silhouette gives the car an amazing personality. The larger air dam in the bumper and the sleek headlamp design is very interesting, with the day-time LEDs. The DC logo is incorporated on the hood perfectly. The windshield wiper mounting in the center is also very attractive. The muscle character of a usual sports car is apparent on the sides of the Avanti. The air duct for the engine near the rear wheel arch is crafted with passion, making the car manifests little wider on road. The Ferrari like styling gradually turns into a Porsche when we reach the rear. The droopy rear is a definite let-down. The rear is very bulbous and looks massive, inappropriate to the frontal styling. The edgy and sharp curves from the front quarter panel are accompanied with stylized tail lights in the rear, giving it a look of a devil in disguise. The design flow from front to back lacks synergy unfortunately. It looks like as if the design and styling is quite confused. Nevertheless, it isn't ugly looking or offensive. It is still very much contemporary and meets the basic tenets of a supercar design. As for dimensions, the supercar measures at 4623mm in length, 1967mm in breadth with a height of 1213mm.
DC Avanti has comfortable and modest interiors, but not that sporty for a supercar. The car ensures passengers to provide a bit of sporty and lavish feel together. The seats are sporty bucket seats and their positioning must do the job clearly. The dashboard and the instrument cluster are decent, though our expectations were a little high. The three spoke steering wheel could have been better - not sporty for a sports car. There is enough headroom and legroom. The black and dark plum colour tone inside the cabin is classy, but the texture could have been better. Dark interiors are the conventional and sporty one for supercars, the Avanti is partly conforming. The quality of the materials used in the cabin, their assembling manners are really very high.
Engine and Gearbox
DC Avanti will be powered by Ford’s revolutionary Eco boost Engine Technology with 2.0 litre DOHC 4-cylinder engine featuring Direct Injection. There will be four valves per cylinder with Variable Valve Timing (VVT) and turbo charging. The rear-mounted engine will be Euro 5 complaint and capable of being further upgraded to the upcoming Euro 6 norms for targeting export market as well. It produces a power of 240 Bhp with 366 Nm of torque. This petrol engine will be mated to a six speed manual gearbox. A six speed dual clutch power shift unit will be on the list in future to enhance the driving experience further. A larger V6 400 bhp motor sourced from Honda will also join the fray latter for performance enthusiasts.
The very definition of supercar is its performance, especially that 0-100 kmph surge. The Avanti is said to touch the 100 kmph mark in less than 7 seconds, with a top speed electronically limited to 250 kmph. Taking 7 seconds is admittedly stretching the supercar definition but considering the price of the car and the fuel consumption of the relatively smaller motor, it is praiseworthy.
It is merciless to expect good fuel efficiency from a sports car, which by definition means top class performance. However, Indian mentality (as one of the Maruti commercial advertisement says) on mileage is imbibed even in supercars we make. DC Avanti is aimed to churn out about 10 to 14 kmpl (overall driving condition), which is certainly absolutely mind blowing! It's because of the fact that the 2.0 litre EcoBoost engine churns out 240 bhp accompanied with 366 Nm of peak torque. The six speed manual transmission mated to the engine may be even more frugal.
Ride, Handling and Safety
The shell of the car with quirky design gets lot of aluminium in it so weight's kept low to a relatively buoyant 1562kg. Less body weight means more road performance. The suspension of Avanti consists of unequal length wishbones in conjunction with coil over shock absorbers all around specifically customized for those traditional sports car drive dynamics. The design gives possible aerodynamic advantage, making the car less friction free and grippy on the road at high speeds. The Avanti is not a hard-core track performer like an Audi R8, but is also designed to meet the everyday, normal road requirements. The fact that the ground clearance is 155mmm it is very clear that the car is designed keeping in mind the decent Indian roads. The 255/35-19 sized wheels on the front and 295/30-19 on the rear helps the occupants to have smooth, fast and less bumpy ride. The car will come with ABS (developed by Bosch) and dual SRS Airbags as standard features. The 330mm wide ventilated disc brakes with seized AP Racing Callipers come as OE fitment and must long last for duty. The Jig built and TIG welded chassis of the Avanti is based on Tubular space frame and is supposedly strong and firm.
The DC's dream sport car is going to hit production very soon. With select exclusive DC dealerships at metros and other cities, the company aims to sell 300 models by 2014 in India. The engines used are Euro 4 and 5 compliant, which implies the scope in international markets too. With an expected price tag of Rs. 30 lakhs (may vary), the Avanti tries to usher in a new segment of affordable supercars with decent adrenaline performance and lower Co2 emissions. At this price, the promised Avanti is stunningly good value-for-money performance car. The production of the car would mark the successful creation of a whole new in-house design practically by the DC Designs, all these days their customization and designing skills were only visible. You can expect lot more surprises from this first ever Indian sports car once it reaches our roads, but we got to sadly wait until then.