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.
Press release after the jump.
The Duster project was born out of the simple premise that a real need existed in the world for a comfortable, strong and affordable 4x4, a category of vehicle which is currently not well served. Aware of this gap, the Renault group decided to develop an all-terrain vehicle aimed initially at emerging markets. The needs of European customers were also taken into account from the very start of the project.
In emerging markets (Russia, Brazil, etc.), the middle classes aspire to owning a modern car that reflects their social status. At the same time, they want a strong car that is reliable, versatile and capable of standing up to climatic demands and conditions that can be both tough and varied (long distances, rugged, difficult terrain, use in built-up areas, often within large conurbations, etc.). The current offer is largely dominated by imported SUVs, which are often priced beyond the means of these middle classes.
In Europe, Dacia’s success has highlighted the demand for modern, reliable and affordable cars. Although the current range of 4x4s and SUVs is quite extensive, it neglects the call for a functional, affordable all-terrain vehicle, favouring instead showy SUVs that are expensive and often ill-suited to the needs of all-terrain motoring.
DACIA DUSTER, EVERYTHING A 4x4 SHOULD BE
Indisputable 4x4 looks…
At first glance, Dacia Duster is clearly a 4x4. Its front end exudes a sense of ruggedness, and the wide wheel arches, imposing chromed grille and sump guard all point to Dacia Duster 4x4 credentials. Seen from the side, its high ground clearance, clearly-defined wheel arches and body protection are an open invitation to take on even the toughest roads and tracks.
Today’s all-terrain vehicles are often synonymous with bulk, a preconception which Dacia Duster sweeps aside. Standing at a length of just 4.31 metres and a width of 1.82 metres, Dacia Duster is very compact, making it as at home in built-up areas as it is when taken off the beaten track. Although it clearly demonstrates that it belongs to the world of all-terrain motoring, Dacia Duster boasts attractive, yet unostentatious lines.
…with genuine go-anywhere ability
Dacia Duster was designed to tackle all types of roads and tracks, all over the world. In order to meet these varied needs, Dacia Duster will be available in all markets in both 4x2 form (for customers looking for high ground clearance, high driving position but who have no real need for a four-wheel drive daily driver) and with 4x4 transmission for off-road driving.
Dacia Duster’s strengthened underside is suitable for dirt roads and all-terrain use thanks to its high ground clearance (more than 200mm) and big clearance angles (approach angle: 30 degrees; departure angle: more than 35 degrees).
Dacia Duster is easy to drive and not only aimed at all-terrain aficionados. The combination of its low unladen weight (1.180kg in 4X2 - 1,280kg in 4X41) and compact proportions ensure particularly agile handling. In the 4X4 version, thanks to the unique and intuitive control (sourced from Nissan) located in the cabin at the foot of the central column, Dacia Duster drivers can easily adapt the vehicle’s transmission configuration to meet their needs of the moment. This control allows one of three modes to be selected:
- When the AUTO mode is selected, the front/rear torque split is calculated automatically as a function of available grip. This system is aimed at providing optimal traction, however much grip is available, and gives Dacia Duster genuine 4x4 ability. In normal conditions, the torque is transmitted through the front wheels only. If traction is lost, or when grip is at a premium, some of the torque is transferred to the rear axle. In extreme conditions, the torque is split equally front and rear. This split is performed by an electromagnetic torque converter supplied by Nissan.
- In LOCK mode, the driver electronically locks it into 4x4 mode, whereby 50 per cent of torque is consistently fed through the rear axle. This mode is recommended in low grip conditions (snow, mud, dirt, sand) at low speeds.
- In 4x2 mode, the transmission is locked into two-wheel drive. This mode is suited to driving on good roads and reduces fuel consumption.
A DACIA 4x4 WHICH DELIVERS ALL THE STRENGTHS EXPECTED OF THE BRAND
Duster, the sixth vehicle in the Dacia range, remains true to the brand’s philosophy by offering unbeatable cabin space for its price, plus low running costs thanks to its thrifty fuel consumption, as well as a high standard of security and reliability whatever the conditions.
Unbeatable cabin space for its price
Although Dacia Duster’s price is comparable with that of a city car, its exterior and interior dimensions are more akin to those of a compact car from the next segment up.
Dacia Duster comfortably seats up to five adults. Both front and rear occupants enjoy the same amount of space as Dacia Logan passengers. Dacia Duster’s boot capacity is unbeatable, too, with a volume of up to 475dm3 ISO (depending on version). With the rear benchseat folded and tipped forward, Dacia Duster offers impressive carrying ability which can exceed 1,600dm3 ISO.
Reliable engines with good fuel economy and low CO2 emissions
Both the 4x2 and 4x4 versions of Dacia Duster will be available with either a 1.6 16V 110hp petrol engine or with 85 dCi or 105 dCi diesel power. All three powerplants have already demonstrated their efficiency under the bonnet of a number of Renault group models.
These engines are perfectly suited to the criteria of cost, strength and ease of maintenance that are a hallmark of the Dacia range. Combined with Duster’s low weight, they ensure that Dacia’s newcomer returns low fuel consumption and boasts impressive ecological credentials, with the dCi diesel versions emitting less than 140g of CO2/km in 4x2 form (qualifying Duster for the Dacia eco² signature) and less than 150g of CO2/km in the case of the 4x4 versions.
Safety: an absolute priority
Dacia Duster benefits from Renault’s acclaimed expertise in the area of safety.
Dacia’s 4x4 features Bosch 8.1 ABS, as well as EBV electronic brakeforce distribution and emergency brake assist.
On the passive safety front, Dacia Duster comes as standard with two front airbags (depending on market) and three-point seat belts with load limiters for the front seats. Depending on version, two lateral head/thorax airbags are fitted in addition to the driver and passenger front airbags to provide additional protection in the case of an impact from the side. Pyrotechnic pretensioners for the front seats (depending on version) complete Dacia Duster’s retention system. In addition to holding the thorax firmly in place, they limit forward movement of the body in the case of a frontal impact by tightening the belt around the thorax and the lap.
Reliability and strength: Dacia fundamentals
Like all the vehicles based on the B0/Logan platform, Dacia Duster has been engineered to deliver the hallmark strength and reliability motorists have come to expect of the brand.
Particular attention has been paid to anti-corrosion protection thanks to several precautions:
- wax-injected underbody and opening panel hollow sections,
- mastic sealing of exterior joints,
- additional wax treatment of underbody mechanical components,
- stone-chip protection for underbody, sills and wheel arches.
Similar care has been paid to the electrics and electronics, with an installation already seen on several Renault models. To back up its high build quality, Dacia Duster comes with a three-year or 100,000km warranty in the majority of its European markets.
A TRULY INTERNATIONAL CALLING
Duster is a truly international vehicle, both in terms of its markets and its production. It will gradually become available across the world, following the example of Logan and Sandero.
Dacia Duster to be released in the brand’s main markets from the spring of 2010
Dacia Duster will be launched in the spring of 2010 in Europe, Turkey and the Maghreb region (Algeria, Morocco). It will round off the Dacia model line-up, which is expanding in the majority of these markets. In addition to the three vehicles aimed at the private sector (Logan, Logan MCV and Sandero), Dacia has staked its claim, too, in the LCV sector with Logan van and Logan pick-up.
From June 2010, Duster will also be available in the Ukraine, the Middle East (Israel, Jordan, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon) and in some African countries badged as a Renault.
The Pitesti factory, which is the principal production facility for Entry-range models, will supply all these markets with both Dacia- and Renault - badged versions. The Romanian plant has an annual production capacity of 350,000 vehicles and will continue to produce the brand’s other models.
Renault Duster in Russia, Brazil and the Gulf States in 2011
Duster will expand into other parts of the world in 2011. It will be distributed in the Gulf States, supplied from Pitesti, and will also be built alongside Logan, Sandero and Sandero Stepway in Curitiba, Brazil, for distribution in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Chile. At a later date, Duster will go on to be manufactured at the Avtoframos plant in Moscow, Russia.