Raymond Loewy was contracted by Studebaker management to design, in secret, an entirely new car with the hope of revitalizing the image of America's oldest vehicle manufacture. Loewy and his team produced the Avanti (meaning 'forward' in Italian), a sport coupe introduced as a 1963 model coded 63R. Styling included a built-in roll bar with an aerodynamic glass fiber body that swept back from smooth, unconventional front styling into a Coke bottle shape that enclosed amenities for four people to travel in grand touring, bucket seat comfort uncommon for the time. High style slim line seats and full, aircraft style instrumentation were augmented with either a manual or autoshift transmission.
Caliper disc brakes, the first in domestic production, provided stopping power for the 3,240 lb Avanti. Power was from Studebaker's 289 cubic-inch, overhead valve engine as either the single 4-barrel R1, 240 horsepower, or R2, Paxton supercharged delivering 290 horsepower. Much rarer were Avanti's with the engine bored to 304.5 cubic-inches supercharged to about 345 horsepower, the R3 or the R4 dual 4-barrel engine without supercharging.
An experimental engine with dual superchargers, the R5, produced about 575 horsepower. These were the cars that set 29 new world land speed records at Bonneville in late 1962 with an R3 Avanti becoming the fastest American production car of the time. Total Avanti production in all forms was 3,834 with an average price of $4,445.