Dacia Duster Official Details and Photos Released

It's official! The first Romanian SUV to be launched since Renault got its hands on Dacia has been officially unveiled and with it, so did the name: Duster. The SUV will enter production at the Pitesti plant, in Romania, where both the 4x4 and 4x2 versions will be built, with sales to begin in spring 2010.

Both versions will come with a choice of three engines, one petrol and two diesel. The petrol version is a 1.6l 16V unit, developing 110 hp, while the diesel ones come with the promise of 85 or 105 hp.

But, since it is the first real SUV from Dacia, it is not the engines that caught our eye. Renault advertises the Duster as a car with "indisputable 4x4 looks..." OK, what about it's 4x4 capabilities?

The Duster will use a Nissan-sourced intuitive control, located in the cabin at the foot of the central column. From there, the driver can control the mode in which the Duster will tackle the terrain ahead of it. There are three modes available for the 4x4 version, as listed below:

  • Auto - the front/rear torque split (performed by an electromagnetic torque converter supplied by Nissan) is calculated automatically as a function of available grip.
  • Lock – the 4x4 mode is locked, providing 50 percent of torque to the rear axle (recommended for snow, mud, dirt, sand)
  • 4x2 mode – the transmission is locked in 4x2 mode, to be used in normal road conditions.

The SUV will come equipped with Bosch 8.1 ABS, EBV electronic brakeforce distribution and emergency brake assist, two front airbags and three-point seat belts with load limiters for the front seats. Upper trim levels (still kept under wraps) will benefit from two lateral head/thorax airbags as well.

As said, the Duster will become available in Europe, Turkey and the Maghreb region in spring 2010. From June, deliveries will begin in the Ukraine, the Middle East and some African countries, with the car badged as a Renault.

Prices and trim levels have not yet been announced, as Renault will probably do so closer to the release date. Still, debatable looks aside, the Duster SUV and all the features it packs will be well worth the money Dacia is said to be charging for it (well under 20,000 euros).
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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