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2022 Dacia Grand Duster Rumor Returns, Seven-Seat SUV Is Codenamed "Project RJI"

If you take a moment to dive deep into Europe’s automotive trends, you’ll notice that crossovers are getting increasingly popular. Now take a look at the Dacia lineup and try to think about what’s missing from this picture. Indeed, my reader, a seven-seat utility vehicle based on the Duster and with Renault underpinnings is dearly needed.
2022 Dacia Grand Duster rendering by Kleber Silva on Behance 23 photos
2022 Dacia Grand Duster rendering by Kleber Silva on Behance2022 Dacia Grand Duster rendering by Kleber Silva on BehanceDacia SE Twenty Special EditionDacia SE Twenty Special EditionDacia SE Twenty Special EditionDacia SE Twenty Special EditionDacia SE Twenty Special EditionDacia SE Twenty Special EditionDacia SE Twenty Special EditionDacia SE Twenty Special EditionDacia SE Twenty Special EditionDacia SE Twenty Special EditionDacia SE Twenty Special EditionDacia SE Twenty Special EditionDacia SE Twenty Special EditionDacia SE Twenty Special EditionDacia SE Twenty Special EditionDacia SE Twenty Special EditionDacia SE Twenty Special EditionDacia SE Twenty Special EditionDacia SE Twenty Special EditionDacia SE Twenty Special Edition
SUVs accounted for 38.3 percent of the total market on the Old Continent last year, marking a new record for the segment. The Volkswagen Tiguan, Renault Captur, and Dacia Duster finished on the top three steps of the podium, which goes to show that a replacement for the Lodgy multi-purpose vehicle needs to happen as soon as possible.

Francois Mariotte, who’s now the head honcho of Renault in Ukraine, used to be the Romanian automaker’s commercial director three years ago. At that time, he shot down any rumors of a seven-seat crossover claiming that it’s not on the plan.” During this relatively short timeframe, however, the demand for utility vehicles has steadily increased to such an extent that Dacia can’t stay on the sidelines any longer.

According to L’Argus, “internal project RJI will take the form of a seven-seat SUV that will be made at the Pitesti plant in Romania from October 2021.” The French motoring publication is citing unnamed sources for this information, which is why you should be taking it as another hearsay until Dacia gives an official confirmation.

Approximately 4.5 meters long according to L’Argus, the Grand Duster or whatever the newcomer will be called “is developed on the CMF-B platform of the all-new Sandero.” The French publication also insists that 12-volt mild hybridization is on the table in the guise of the 1.3 TCe. Higher up, a full hybrid is reportedly planned with the same powertrain as the Clio E-Tech. As a brief refresher, Renault combines a free-breathing engine with 1.6 liters of displacement with a pair of e-motors.

Considering that the next-gen Duster is likely going to ditch AWD, the Grand Duster may be a front-wheel-drive-only affair as well. Emissions regulations are getting draconic for every automaker in Europe, and Dacia can’t afford to pay millions of euros in fines or for carbon credits in order to hit CO2 targets.

Editor's note: 2022 Dacia Grand Duster rendering pictured.

 
 
 
 
 

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