DC Avanti Scam: 5 Things To Know About India’s First Sports Car
The Avanti could go from being famous for its aspirational intentions to being infamous in the light of recent allegations
Independent carmakers and customisers are known to have their run-ins with policy makers and now Indian automotive designer Dillip Chhabria is in hot water with the law. The founder of renowned automotive design house DC Design has recently been arrested by Mumbai Police as part of an investigation over alleged financing and forgery scams involving DC’s own model, the Avanti. Here’s what you need to know about the car and the possible scandal thus far:
What is the DC Avanti?
The Avanti is the first homegrown mid-engined sports car. Designed, built and sold by Dilip Chhabria Designs Pvt Ltd, the Avanti was launched in 2015. It is a two-door, two-seater model that was offered in a single trim with a host of optional extras. The bodywork was said to be made from carbon composite based on a composite high steel chassis. DC planned to sell the car here as well as in other countries.
DC Avanti Engine Specifications
It was powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine sourced from Renault with a claimed performance rating of 250PS and 340Nm. This engine was rear mid-mounted and mated to a 6-speed manual transmission that sent power to the rear wheels only. The claimed 0 to 100kmph acceleration time was stated at 6 seconds with a top speed limited to 200kmph.
A later model improved the engine output to 310PS and added the option of a 6-speed AMT with paddle-shifters. However, it is hard to confirm whether this model was actually launched in the market or not.
It wasn’t a luxurious offering
The DC Avanti’s “standard” feature list was limited to comforts like AC, power windows, electrically adjustable outside rearview mirrors (which looked similar to the EcoSport’s) and faux leather upholstery. The list of ‘options’ included bi-xenon headlamps, rear parking camera, push button start-stop, leather or Alcantara upholstery and a tuned exhaust. Even the MID in the instrument cluster was an extra. While the safety list mentions a roll cage, disc brakes on all four wheels with ABS and 3-point seatbelts, it had no airbags whatsoever.
By the looks of it, this 2015 sports car had AC vents and an aftermarket infotainment system from a mid-size sedan of the late 2000s.
Also read: DC Avanti | Expert Review
Pricing of the DC Avanti
Since this limited-run model was intended to be highly individualised and it came with an extensive list of optional extras, it didn’t have a conventional price list like an OEM model. However, at the time of launch it had a starting price of Rs 34.90 lakh (ex-showroom).
The Avanti scam
Mumbai’s Crime Branch was looking into a unit of the Avanti that was said to be running with bogus numbers. The team was able to contact the owner who presented legitimate paperwork for the car, but found that the same engine and chassis number was registered for another car in Haryana.
Investigators further discovered that DC Design Pvt Ltd had taken multiple loans, averaging at Rs 42 lakh per unit, by posing as the customers for their own models. As many as 90 of the total 120 Avantis sold were said to have been financed in this fraudulent manner. The Crime Branch is also looking into the losses to the Government exchequer by virtue of not paying the relevant taxes through the finance schemes. There will be an update on the story as the investigation progresses but as of now, the future of DC Design, recently renamed as DC2, is highly uncertain.
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