Group Renault design chief compares the Dacia Duster with Ford Mustang

Article by Christian A., on November 20, 2018

Can a Dacia Duster be compared with a Ford Mustang? It would be difficult to do so as these vehicles compete in different categories and segments, have different price points and different target markets. Moreover, in terms of power and performance, the Duster couldn’t be compared to a Mustang.

Nonetheless, there is one person who believes that Dacia’s budget SUV is similar to the Ford’s legendary pony car. This person is the chief of design for Group Renault -- Laurens van den Acker. Dacia, the Romanian subsidiary of Group Renault, has been building the Duster since 2009, while Ford has been producing the Mustang since 1965. Despite the Duster being just a decade old, van den Acker told Autocar that the SUV is similar to the Mustang in a sense that it is already an iconic model with an identity stronger than the brand.

Group Renault’s design chief believes that the identity of the Duster as a model is already larger than Dacia as a brand. This is similar to the iconic pony car – the Mustang as a model has a stronger identity than Ford as a brand. The Duster is iconic to Dacia just as the Mustang is iconic for Ford.

Yes, in the perspective of people outside of the Dacia brand, the Duster cannot be compared to the Ford Mustang. However, for the Romanian brand, the Duster is a big icon comparable to how the American carmaker treats the Mustang. The Duster sits on top of Dacia’s vehicle offerings and is the brand’s best-selling model. It was first launched in 2009 as the first generation model, with the second generation unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

In 2017, the Duster accounted for more than 30 percent of Dacia’s vehicle sales around the world. In that year, Dacia sold more than 460,000 vehicles globally, 145,682 of which were Duster models. For this year alone, Dacia has already sold 130,885 units of the Duster in the first eight months of 2018, which means that the budget SUV is on its way to surpassing its sales results in 2017.

Dacia has already ruled out creating a new SUV that is larger than the Duster despite the increasing demand for utilities all over the world. This is because model larger than the Duster would be too expensive for Dacia’s low-cost product philosophy. The Duster has a starting price that is equivalent to around $13,000.

The Duster is now effectively Dacia’s most powerful model after a new 1.3-liter TCe engine was recently introduced to its range. This new four-cylinder engine is offered in two versions: 130 hp (96 kW) of output and 240 Nm (177 lb.-ft.) of torque, as well as 150 hp (110 kW) and 250 Nm (184 177 lb.-ft.).

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