Official: 2010 Dacia Duster crossover

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

Production of Dacia Duster budget crossover is set to begin early next year but fans in the UK would have to wait for the confirmation that a right-hand drive would be available for them. Dacia would have to offer the car in right-hand drive before it could be considered for a UK launch.

In an interview with Autocar, a Renault source said that the Dacia brand "maybe" launched in the UK and when it does, only the Duster and the Sandero would be available since the company doesn't think there's a market in the UK for its Logan.

Buyers in Europe will have the choice of either a two or four-wheel drive, with either a 108bhp 1.6-liter 16V petrol engine or 84bhp and 104bhp 1.5-liter diesels. The Duster is a five-seater, which measures 4.31 meters long and 1.82 meters wide. Meanwhile, a Skoda Yeti is 4.2 meters long and 1.8 meters wide.

The Duster is a genuine off-roader as a four-wheel drive because of its 20cm ground clearance, 30 degree approach angle and 35 degree departure angle.

Three driving modes are available: (1) Auto, which switches torque according to grip; (2) Lock, which splits the torque 50:50; and (3) 4x2; which locks the car in front-wheel drive. Pricing for the model has yet to be revealed.

The 4x4 character of the new 2010 Dacia is unmistakeable. People seeing its front would be impressed by its imposing chrome grille and sump guard – elements that convey the ruggedness and toughness of a 4x4. People seeing its profile would immediately take notice of its wide wheel arches and high ground clearance, as well as its ample body protection – elements that indicate that this 4x4 is all ready to take on any terrain on the planet, including the harsh ones.

However, if there is one characteristic that the new Dacia Duster does not possess as an all-terrain 4x4 vehicle is bulkiness. After all, the new Dacia Duster is compact, as evidenced by its dimensions (4.31 in length and 1.82 meters in width). Nevertheless, this compactness has its own advantages. Its small size allows it to maneuver easily especially in urban areas, while still being capable of tackling tough off-road destinations.

It goes to show that the Dacia Duster is really an all-terrain vehicle. However, the Dacia will be available not only as a 4x4 but also as a 4x2 vehicle. This is ideal especially for drivers who don’t need the capability of a four-wheel-drive unit but want their vehicle to feature a high driving position as well as good ground clearance.

To further boost the capability of the new Dacia Duster as a 4x4 unit on off-road trips, it features a high ground clearance of more than 200 mm as well an approach angle of 30 degrees and departure angle of more than 35 degrees. Moreover, Dacia has also strengthened the Duster's undercarriage to make it more suitable to tackle dirt roads.

Another advantage of being compact is the added agility and handling. This is further boosted by the fact that the new Dacia Duster features a low unladen weight of 1,180kg for the 4x2 version and 1,280kg for the 4x4 variant. The 4x4 version features Nissan-sourced intuitive control located at the foot of the center console, which allows its drivers to select the transmission configuration appropriate for their driving needs. Three modes are available: Auto, Lock and 4x2.

The Auto mode results to the automatic calculation of the front/rear torque split as a function of available grip. When selected, Auto mode should be able provide optimal traction no matter how much grip is available, thereby triggering Dacia Duster’s 4x4 ability. During normal driving conditions, the torque is transmitted only through the front wheels. However, if traction is lost, or if a lot of grip is required, a portion of the available torque is transmitted to the rear axle.

During extreme conditions, the torque is transmitted equally to the front and rear axles, courtesy of an electromagnetic torque converter sourced from Nissan. Meanwhile, the Lock mode electronically transforms the Dacia Duster into a functional 4x4 vehicle, with 50 percent of torque always locked for transmission to the rear axle.

Lock mode is ideal when the driver is tackling low grip conditions – like snow, mud, dirt and sand -- at low speeds. On the other hand, the 4x2 mode locked the transmission into two-wheel drive, which is suitable when driving on good roads. Furthermore, this mode makes the Dacia Duster consume less fuel.

Press Release

Dacia Duster

The Dacia Duster project was born out of the simple premise that a real need existed in the world for an affordable, comfortable and rugged 4x4, a class 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 project outset.

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, difficult terrain, use in large built-up areas). 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 SUVs that are expensive and often ill-suited to the needs of off-road driving.

Indisputable 4x4 looks…

At first glance, Dacia Duster is clearly a 4x4. Its front end exudes a sense of ruggedness, with its imposing chrome grille and sump guard also pointing to its clear 4x4 credentials. Seen in profile, its high ground clearance, wide wheel arches and body protection are an open invitation to take on even the toughest surfaces.

Today's all-terrain vehicles are often synonymous with bulk, a preconception which Dacia Duster sweeps aside. Being 4.31 metres long and 1.82 metres wide, 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 not ostentatious 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, it will be available in all markets in both 4x2 form (for customers looking for good ground clearance and a high driving position, without the need for four-wheel drive) and with 4x4 transmission for off-road driving.

Dacia Duster's strengthened undercarriage is suitable for dirt roads and all-terrain use thanks to its high ground clearance (more than 200mm) and impressive 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 drivers. Its 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 at the foot of the centre console, 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.


Dacia 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 level of safety 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 segment above. It comfortably seats up to five adults, with both front and rear occupants enjoying the same amount of space as passengers in its sister Logan model.

Dacia Duster's boot capacity is unbeatable, too, with a volume of up to 475dm3 ISO. With the rear benchseat folded and tipped forward, its impressive carrying ability can even 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 85hp or 105hp 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. The news 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 side impact. 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 body movement 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.


Dacia 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 Spring 2010

Dacia Duster will be launched next Spring 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 cars (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 Ukraine, the Middle East (Israel, Jordan, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon) and in some African countries badged as a Renault.

The Pitesti factory 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

Dacia 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.

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