Geneva Motor Show: 2010 Dacia Duster

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 27, 2009

Dacia's first-ever SUV, the Duster, was unveiled today at the Geneva Motor Show. Set to go on sale in select European countries this month, this compact off-roader is priced from 11,900 Euros for the two-wheel drive version and 13,900 Euros for the 4x4 version. In Romania, the car will be sold for 10,500 Euros for the two-wheel drive version and 12,300 Euros for the 4x4 version (VAT included).

The car measures 4.31 meters in length and 1.82 meters in width but its weight varies with the configuration chosen -- 1,160kg in 4x2 specification and 1,250kg for the 4x4 version. Dacia claims that the Duster has an impressive space for its price.

The SUV is based on a platform derived from the Logan family and has a boot capacity of 474 meters (depending on version). Overall, the car has a carrying capacity of up to 1,636 liters.

Three engines are available across the range for both 4x2 and 4x4 versions: one petrol engine (1.6 16V 110hp) and two diesel engines (dCi 85 and dCi 110). According to Dacia's official figures, the dCi versions emit from 135g of CO2/km for the 4x2 version, which qualifies it for the Dacia eco2 signature, and from 145g of CO2/km in the case of the 4x4 version.

The 4x4 configuration features a rear MacPherson-type multi-arm suspension and a six-speed gearbox with short first ratio. As a result, performance on off-road terrain is improved.

When it comes to safety, the Duster is equipped with two front airbags (depending on market) and three-point seat belts with load limiters for the front seats, to which pyrotechnic pretensioners can be added. Furthermore, two lateral head/thorax airbags can be attached in addition to the driver and passenger front airbags.

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.

A DACIA 4x4 WHICH DELIVERS ALL THE STRENGTHS EXPECTED OF THE BRAND

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.

A TRULY INTERNATIONAL CALLING

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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