DC Avanti review, test drive

    DC's Avanti is India's first homegrown sportscar. It looks attractive for sure but does it have the substance to match the style?

    Published on Dec 16, 2014 01:10:00 PM


    Make : DC
    Model : Avanti

    The mountain road near Pune is a familiar one. Over the years, we’ve driven and tested all manners of cars here – hatchbacks, saloons, SUVs and, of course, sportscars too. The road starts off by snaking its way gently alongside a reservoir, but then gets tighter and tighter as it climbs the side of the mountain. Over the crest, the road opens out a bit and dives and ducks through dark forested valleys, feeling for all the world like a fast, free-flowing rollercoaster ride. Yes, the corners sometimes tighten on you unexpectedly and there are plenty of blind crests too, but there’s still a delicious rhythm to it. Plan ahead, temper your aggression and this can be one of the most fulfilling roads to drive hard on. Question is, is this pre-production DC Avanti, India’s first pukka mid-engined sportscar, up to the challenge? I’m itching to get started, but can’t – the car is surrounded by a ring of onlookers. Now, being flash mobbed in the centre of town is all very well, but here on a mountain road, in the middle of nowhere? It’s just nuts. Parked cars block the single-lane road up the mountain and everyone wants a picture, BMW owners included. It’s easy to understand the appeal – it’s not every day you see something with supercar dimensions and styling coming out to enjoy the sunshine. The crowd finally clears and I climb into the surprisingly roomy cabin. It’s quite wide and seat travel is sufficient, but headroom is tight for drivers over six feet because the roof is low and the floor is relatively high to help it deal with Indian roads. DC engineers, however, say they are still tweaking the seat design to get the ergonomics spot on. What’s nice is that the seats are big and they have a decent amount of lateral support too.

    The interiors are still a work in progress and there’s lots of detailing yet to be done to get the fit and finish up to the desired level. What we can say is that the overall design is sure to appeal to owners. The pair of hooded dials looks great and we liked the centre console with the stacked screens, chrome surrounds and body-coloured separator. The custom three-spoke steering wheel feels the right size as well. Visibility out the back, however, is poor; you can only look out of that slot-like windscreen at the rear, so you have to rely a lot on the reversing camera. The Avanti also comes with a touchscreen infotainment system and soft-touch buttons for the air-con, but there’s more to come. We are told the final car will have a digital instrument panel with the resolution of an iPad. And there will be new door pads on the production cars and a few new bits on the central console too.

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