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Stunning Mid-engined Sports Car From India Launches Next Month

Published April 20, 2015

India is joining the small group of nations that produce sports cars; named for the landmark ’63 Studebaker coupe the Avanti is a stunning mid-engine design. The project is headed by designer Dilip Chhabria and named for the timeless Raymond Loewy design that was produced for just two years before Studebaker collapsed.

The DC Avanti was first displayed at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo, it was all set to be officially launched on April 15.  Word now comes out the release date has been pushed back to May 15.  It should be noted, though, that late delivery of the first batch of limited production specialty cars is not uncommon. Regardless, the company reports that is has received a total of 762 confirmed bookings for the DC Avanti.

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The DC Avanti project appears to be a far more sophisticated design and execution that the Etox sports car project from Turkey we reported on recently.

Developed by DC Design, an Indian design firm which is noted for their concept cars and prototypes. They were contracted by Ford to built the Aston Martin AMV8 concept car for the 2004 North American International Auto Show.

The roots of the Avanti began in 1983 when Dilip Chhabria returned to India after spending a year at General Motor’s Design Center in Detroit, after having studied Transportation Design from the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. He began by developing automotive accessories and creating customized cars and buses for individual customers.

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The DC Avanti is a small car, not much larger than a Lotus, measuring 179 inches long, 73 inches wide, and 47 inches in height, sized to accommodate the narrow garages found in India. Further, the Avanti was designed with 6.7 inches of ground clearance to accommodate the variety of road conditions faced when driving in India.

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The box section space frame is clad in carbon fiber components developed by the company’s in-house engineers. Hung to the chassis is double-wishbone independent suspension at all four corners, while brakes are 13″  discs up front and 11.6″ at the rear. Anti-lock braking system (ABS), developed by Continental, will be offered as standard equipment. Tires are  255/35R20  front and 295/30R20 rear on DC-designed alloy wheels.

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Powering the Avanti is a mid-mounted Renault FR4t 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder engine as used in the Mégane RS. Utilizing a twin-scroll turbocharger, the DOHC motor produces 248 horsepower. Power is transmitted to the rear wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission.

The DC Avanti, the first sports car entirely built in India and is expected to be priced around $50,000 to $60,000. So while the styling is sizzling, the price seems steep for a car whose drivetrain is lifted from a front wheel drive compact car. Of course, in a country with just over 1.2 billion citizens, even 10 thousand patriotic sports car fans (0.000008%) are more than enough to keep the Avanti project viable.

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Chris Riley
About Chris Riley

I have been wrecking cars for as long as I've been driving them but I keep coming back for more. Two wheels or four, I'm all in. GearHeads.org gives me a chance to give something back to the automobile community.

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