When Renault said that it was going to take a stab at running Pikes Peak in 2011 AND use a Dacia Duster to run the competition, a lot of people, shall we say, scoffed at that idea.
As it turns out, Renault was actually serious about the whole thing because the first photos of the Dacia Duster Pikes Peak have gone live. It seems a little ambitious for Renault to try to compete in one of the most famous - or infamous - hill climbing competitions in the world, especially considering when they’re using their low-cost, Romanian-based brand for the whole competition.
But this isn’t your ordinary Dacia Duster. While details are still limited, there are whispers going around that this particular Duster will carry a Nissan GT-R-sourced V8 engine that produces a staggering 850 horsepower. Last we checked, that’s a load of power, especially for a car that’s been stripped down to weigh just a little less than 900 kg (1,984 lbs).
The car is set to compete on June 26, 2011 at Pikes Peak, Colorado and will be piloted by Jean-Philippe Dayraut. We don’t know how competitive it’s going to be against the Imprezas of the competition, but there’s plenty of power under this Duster’s hood. And if you’ve got that covered, you stand a very good chance of being competitive.
Alain Prost, widely regarded as one of the fiercest Formula One drivers in history and the most heated rival of the late, great Ayrton Senna, is still hacking up race tracks in France these days, albeit on a much different terrain. The former Formula One Driver’s Champion’s competitive racing juices are now on full display at the Andros Trophy racing series, the national Ice Racing championship of France.
Last year, Prost raced behind the wheel of a Dacia Duster Ice Racer and proceeded to show everybody that despite his age, he still managed to finish runner-up for the season, trailing only two-time Andros champion Jean-Philippe Dayraut on-board his Fabia Skoda MKII.
This season, which is scheduled to begin on December 4th, Prost is looking to break through with his first Andros championship, and to help him achieve his goal, he’s got a brand new Dacia Duster Ice Racer waiting to be unleashed all over the icy terrains of France.
The new Duster Ice Racer underwent some engine and performance upgrades from last year’s model, giving Prost an even bigger chance to break the Skoda’s two-year stranglehold on the championship.
For one thing, the 55-year old racer is determined to prove that second place won’t be good enough this time around. “Last season, we were aware it would be tough to win the Trophée Andros with a new car, not to mention the fact that the program began at a relatively late stage” he said.
“This time round, my intention is to challenge for the title. We completed two very positive days of testing at Val Thorens last weekend. Our work on Duster has clearly paid dividends and we are convinced we have the means to make a strong start."
Head over past the jump to find out details about Prost’s new Duster Ice Racer.
In the glorious country that is the United States of America, we have an interesting and ineffective way of naming our favorite vehicles. It seems every magazine - and sometimes states - gets to name their favorite car of the year. While this can be great for the automaker’s advertising, it can confuse the public just a tad. What car is better here, the winner of Magazine A or Magazine B?
In Europe, things go a bit smoother. Seven different publications from seven different countries pick what they think is the best car of the year. It takes a few months, but in the end you get one winner, which was the Opel Insignia last year.
Dacia has just launched the first SUV in the Romanian car maker’s history. Carrying the same name as the concept that made such a sensation at the Geneva Motor Show, the new Duster SUV will be released in the brand’s main markets starting in the spring of 2010.
The new Dacia Duster will be offered in both 4x2 and 4x4 versions powered by either a 1.6 Liter 16V 110 HP petrol engine or the optional 85 dCi and 105 dCi diesel engines. The SUV has a CO2 emission of less than 140g in its 4x2 format and makes less than 150g as far as the 4x4 versions are concerned. The new Duster SUV is just 4.31 meters long and 1.82 meters wide, designed to tackle all types of roads and tracks, all over the world. Showing off theie new venture’s abilities, Dacia has enlisted the help of Formula One Ferrari ace Alain Prost to campaign a purpose built modified Duster with the help of Renault Sport Technologies in the grueling Andros Ice Raceing Series.
Alain Prost’s foray into the Trophée Andros racing series on-board the Dacia Duster V6 Racer won’t come until early December, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t have a sneak preview of the former F1 champion taking his new toy out for a test run.
Thankfully, the miracle that is YouTube allows us the opportunity to watch videos that we normally wouldn’t have access to. And by videos – or in this case, a video – we mean Prost taking the Duster 4x4 for some test laps.
While some race cars require extensive stretches of salt to get the job done, there are petrol heads that are eager to run flat out on just about any surface, even ice. While the Romanian automaker Dacia revealed the Duster concept at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, the production version of their first ever SUV won’t be unveiled until 2010. However Dacia won’t keep us in the dark for too long because they have just entered the Trophee Andros ice racing series with a Renault Sport Technologies produced competition version of the upcoming Duster and will have none other than Formula One legend and ice racing enthusiast Alain Prost.
Although this is nowhere near the genuine article; it will be a stripped down, tube frame, purpose built, ice racer that is capable of changing direction on a dime on the most slippery surface on the face of the Earth and come with a power to weight ratio that you are unlikely to find in any of Dacia’s road cars. But isn’t that the fun part about race cars? You start off with something that resembles a car you might see on the street and then completely reengineer it to achieve the lowest lap time possible by doing things like putting a 350 HP Renault Sport V6 behind the driver mated to a six speed sequential gearbox and a set of studded tires at all four corners. Just try and imagine how much fun it would be to take that thing out on a snow covered public road.
Just one day before its official debut Dacia revealed the Duster concept - a totally new model in Dacia-s line-up. With the aspect of a sporting coupe and the utility of an MPV, Duster will become the first crossover in Dacia’s line-up.
Duster’s height of 1.49 metres, short front and rear overhangs (65cm and 80cm respectively), generous wheelbase (2.80m) and compact volumes (4.25m long, 1.64m wide) exude an overriding sense of robustness and sports appeal.
The concept features a broad bumper with two horizontal air-intake slits at the front; the grille is flanked by headlamps which wrap over the front wings to form a tapering line of light that stretches rearward towards the doors. The sporty look is accentuated by 21-inch, five-spoke aluminium alloy wheels, exterior mirrors positioned on the window surround and trapezoidal aluminium exhaust tailpipes.
Under the hood Dacia placed a 1.5 dCi 105hp engine that emits just 139g of CO2/km, equivalent to fuel consumption of 5.3 litres/100km.