In one of the more anticipated new product offerings of the 2009 model year, Damon Motor Coach is preparing to release its European-inspired 32-foot Avanti front-engine diesel Class A motorhome, according to the company. Built on a 16,000-pound GVWR Workhorse W-16D chassis – a modified version of the Workhorse W-42 commercial truck chassis that allows a lower center of gravity to reduce wind resistance – Avanti is powered by a 200-hp International Max Force diesel engine and is expected to get about 14.5 mpg. “We wanted to create an automotive feel behind the wheel,” said Bill Fenech, president of the Elkhart, Ind., Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary. With a single slideout and 6 feet 6 inches of headroom, Avanti’s overall height is just under 11 feet, which creates a relatively low-slung profile similar to European coaches and reminiscent of those built in the U.S. three decades ago. “It’s a throwback,” said Matt Thompson, vice president of Avanti sales. “Those coaches were so far ahead of their time.” The Avanti’s main advantage is the fuel mileage it provides, according to Damon. “Everyone’s talking about fuel economy,” Thompson said. “This is the highest fuel-mileage Class A in the industry.” The W-16D chassis features modifications made specifically for the Avanti. With a yacht-like interior and sloped front end, Avanti features a bunk system that drops down from the over-the-driver compartment. Damon expects to introduce a well-equipped Avanti with an MSRP under $140,000 to the retail public at the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show Sept. 8-14 in Hershey, Pa.