UPDATE: More information on Dacia’s MPV detailed below.
Dacia, Renault’s budget brand for emerging markets, is working on its own MPV people carrier, codenamed J92 but being called ‘Popster’ by some speculators.
Images leaked onto the Internet last week showing what seems to be amateur shots of a heavily disguised MPV testing somewhere in Europe. The car is wearing French plates but the model type wouldn’t seem to fit with a replacement for the PSA van-based MPVs (Peugeot Partner/Citroen Berlingo) or Renault Kangoo, all of which are quite new. So is the French giant helping with development of a utility people carrier for its Romanian subsidiary?
Dacia already has a Skoda Yeti rivalling vehicle in the Logan SW, a tall two box estate version of the Logan compact family car. That has an asymmetrical barn door type rear opening, as this car seems to sport if you look through the camouflage ‘windows’. This would seem to be a larger sister which is rumoured to be based on the Nissan NV200 van, but that vehicle itself uses the Clio III platform which underpins all modern Dacia’s anyway. Could the J92 be using the platform of the next NV200, which might also form the basis of a Kangoo replacement over time?
As you can tell, nothing much is known about what we are looking at, when it will go on sale, in which markets or how much it will cost. We can guess that it will receive Renault engines, however, maybe sharing its 105bhp 1.6 litre petrol and 1.5 dCi diesel engines (90bhp and 110bhp) with the Duster SUV. As with all Dacia’s, expect it to be very competitively priced and in markets where it doesn’t join an existing Dacia badged line-up, perhaps showing up as a budget priced Renault (India and South America included). If it goes on sale in the UK it won’t be before 2013 and should start at below £13,000.