To create a truly global sports car is the ultimate challenge for home-grown automakers
Unveiled at 2012 Auto Expo, DC Avanti was an ambitious project by its creator Dilip Chhabria. Although Avanti often made news and had garnered attention for being India’s first supercar, it never really performed as desired in the sales department.
DC Avanti was in production from 2012 to 2016. It was discontinued, as it failed to comply with stricter automotive safety regulations. Just to give you an idea, the car did not even have basic safety features like airbags.
Chhabria’s arrest over alleged scam
DC Avanti’s fate was sealed when Dilip Chhabria was arrested by Mumbai police in December 2020. It was alleged that Chhabria was involved in multiple scams. The police found that many of the Avantis that were sold had the same engine and chassis number.
This was probably done to evade taxes. It was also alleged that Chhabria used to buy his own cars under different names and took loans for the same from Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFC). The cars were later sold to other customers.
As per estimates, Chhabria was found to have caused a loss of around Rs 40 crore to the government exchequer. The scam went unnoticed initially, as Chhabria had good reputation in the market. Moreover, the buyers were usually the rich and famous. The scam came to light when Mumbai police found multiple Avantis with the same engine and chassis number.
Under-production DC Avantis abandoned
With limited sales and manufacturer’s credibility shattered, it’s unlikely that DC Avanti will get a second chance. Several of the DC Avantis at the company’s manufacturing facility in Talegaon are rusting. Seeing India’s first supercar in this state is truly disappointing.
We hope that future attempts to create India’s first sports car will be more sincere and successful. That’s a long shot at this stage, but the possibility cannot be denied completely.
Discontinued DC Avanti was powered by a Renault-sourced 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo petrol motor. It was capable of generating 250 bhp of max power and 340 Nm of max torque. It was mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. The car’s top speed was rated at 200 kmph.
DC Avanti electric
Prior to his arrest, Chhabria and his team were working to launch the next-gen version of DC Avanti. It was planned to be India’s first fully electric sports car. It was reported that the electric powertrain was being developed by a Swiss-based firm. Electric DC Avanti would have been equipped with a 160 kWh battery pack. The car would have achieved 0-100 kmph in just around 5.5 seconds. Those plans too lie abandoned as of now.