Auto Expo 2010 : Talking to Dilip Chhabria

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BSM staffer Rohin Nagrani caught up with Dilip Chhabria at the 2010 Auto Expo and got all the info about DC Design's Imperator and the upcoming plans the company has.

About the Imperator
The idea behind the Imperator is 'shock and awe'. The Imperator is the world's first ever SSUV -  that is Super Sports Utility Vehicle. It is powered by a 6-litre V12 TDI engine from the Audi Q7 and puts out 500 bhp of power. This SSUV itself has been based on stretched-up Audi Q7 platform. It sports 325/35-R 28 wheels. That's right, the wheels are a whopping 28 inches! The Imperator is being showcased at the Auto Expo to get people interested in DC Design's new course on automobile design.

What's this new course on automobile design all about?
The course is a collaborative effort between the DY Patil Group and DC Design and is a unique institution for Automotive Studies - the DYP-DC Center for Automotive Research and Studies. The course offers students a unique opportunity to study automobile design, either in a three-year graduate course or a two-year post graduate course. At the end of the course, every student will be required to individually design a fully-working automobile, which is something that is not done in any other automobile design course in any part of the world.

What is DC Design planning for the future?
The DC Design Innova has attracted a lot of attention and there are already orders for about 30 such Innovas. DC Design plans on looking at similar styling for Mahindra Xylo and the Tata Aria. The company has already received enquiries for design of GMC and port transit vehicles that could be made in India and then shipped to the US.

What about a low-cost sports coupe?
There were attempts to make a sports coupe that cost less than Rs 15 lakh, but after the downturn the plans were axed, as it was not economically viable unless there was demand for at least 500 units of the same. However, within the next five years or so, it is a possibility.

Quick fact
Dilip Chhabria has been a part of the design team of the Renault electric vehicles and the Maruti Suzuki R3 prototype.