DC Avanti : First Drive
Making the jump from the glitzy show floor of Auto Expo 2012 to the trying conditions of the real world, the DC Avanti finally puts its wheels on tarmac and that too in anger! And boy, is it an impressive sight thundering down the road!
This engine, situated between the rear wheels and the cabin isn’t some stonking big V8 or even a V6 for that matter, but a more modest 2.0-litre inline 4-cylinder unit that Ford has already put to good use on a whole range of its international sedans and SUVs. But don’t think for one second that this is some wimpy little motor though. Thanks to some clever use of turbocharging and direct fuel injection, a 16-valve top end operated by a twin-camshaft set-up and variable valve timing, what you get is a respectable power output of 240 odd horses, coupled with a meaty 366Nm of torque coming in as low as 3,500rpm. Combine that with a chassis which weighs 1,560kg, and an option of either a six-speed manual or six-speed PowerShift dual clutch gearbox to drive the rear wheels, you’d better believe that the performance figures are going to be something to talk about.
But when you consider that this engine is achieving all this oomph with a litre less of cubic capacity than any other motor would require, another upshot you can expect is better fuel efficiency as well as lowered emissions. With the engine already compliant with stringent European emissions norms, and the option of tuning it a little to even meet upcoming Euro 6 legislation, there is a good chance that the Avanti will find a home in markets outside India as well. And for those who think a four-cylinder engine is a tad too paltry to be the motive force in a mid-engine sports car, DC also has plans for a 3.0-litre Honda sourced V6 powerplant that he promises will output close to 400 horsepower!
The Avanti isn’t just meant to be a gorgeously sculpted body with a quick motor mated to a makeshift chassis. Underneath the skin, this almost concept-looking car sports a rather sophisticated bit of kit. In true sports car fashion, the chassis is a spaceframe design with double wishbones at all four corners to locate the 19” custom designed wheels sporting massive Pirelli P-Zero tyres, which offer a 255/35 profile at the front and an even wider 295/30 profile at the back.
Stopping power comes via four massive 330mm disc brakes at all corners grabbed by AP Racing calipers as a standard fitment, all of which should ensure that the Avanti will have the braking prowess akin to the best sports cars out there at the moment. There is no compromise on the safety front either, considering that automotive safety experts Bosch lent a hand in developing ABS as well as SRS airbags for the car. And if you think all this is overkill, then consider the fact that this is a car that is designed to hit speeds of 250km/h and above!
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