Renault confirmed that the Dacia Duster will be turned into a Pikes Peak race car. The company revealed that it is working on an 850hp version of the Duster, which will take part in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. According to the press release, Dacia will “tackle the world’s most exacting hill climb in the state of Colorado (USA).”
To date, two consecutive silver medals in the Trophee Andros ice-racing series have been won by Duster’s motorsport program. In both races, four-time F1 Champion Alain Prost was behind the wheel.
The project is being handled by Renault Sport, together with Jean-Philippe Dayraut’s VIP Challenge racing team and Tork Engineering. It’s interesting to note that Jean-Philippe Dayraut competed against Alain Prost in the Throphee Andross.
"Belying the celebrated maxim of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, Dacia “doesn't” believe that the main thing is simply taking part and has enlisted the driving services of three-time Trophée Andros winner and ice-racing star Jean-Philippe Dayraut.
In partnership with Jean-Philippe's own operation, "VIP Challenge", Renault Sport Technologies and Tork Engineering are working on an 850-horsepower Dacia Duster developed specially to comply with the technical regulations that govern the Pikes Peak hill climb and to meet the exacting requirements of the "Race to the Clouds" itself." said the press release.
The Dacia Duster 'No Limit' is not just a very powerful car but an extraordinary one as well. Teams working with Renault Sport Technologies managed to bring this unique vehicle expertise to the table and even the supply of some of its components.
The teams involved were Tork Engineering, which worked on the vehicle’s design, development, assembly, and production, and Sodemo which worked on the engine. This model is able to meet with the specific regulations of its rivals 'Unlimited' class as there is no upper limit when it comes to engine’s power or size. As there is no minimum weight, it is possible to use any kind of tyres and there were no constraints made when it comes to aerodynamics or transmission systems.
The Dacia Duster 'No Limit' has a glass-fibre outer skin, under which are different hi-tech features. There is for example the engine that delivers output at 850 hp. Inspired by the black 3.8-liter V6 engine of the Nissan GT-R NISSAN VR 38 DETT and made specifically for the Sodemo, its powerplant is able to deliver maximum performance despite the extremely high altitudes within the course that begins at 2,860 meters and end at 4,300 meters.
The second feature is the sequential six-speed Sadev box that is paired with the engine. This was made in order to handle the available power but also to allow for precise and quick gearshifts. Finally there is the aerodynamic package that is rarely allowed in motorsport. It was tested in the wind tunnels with its rear wings functioning outstandingly. When it comes to the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, Jean-Philippe Dayraut had long wanted to have an exceptional car that could challenge it.
Fortunately, he managed to persuade Dacia and Renault Sport Technologies to be part of this venture. The Colorado-based event means that there will be a need to have perfect traction even if the kind of grip differs on the half-asphalt/half-dirt course surfaces which change from one kind of surface to another.
In order to get to the top, professional drivers would need to have experience with circuit racing and with competing on loose surfaces, like ice and gravel. It has won at least six French titles, for the single-seater and touring car versions. The brand has even earned three Trophée Andros crowns, killing any doubt that Jean-Philippe Dayraut is qualified for this mission.