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.
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.