The budget 4×4, mooted to cost from £11,000 when it reaches the UK later in 2012, is part of an assault on the growing Indian market by Renault, Dacia’s parent. The Duster is already produced in Brazil, itself a burgeoning market, in left hand drive form.
The Indian version of the car will be built in Channai, whereas UK spec cars will arrive from Romania, Dacia’s home. But both India and the UK are right hand drive, so a commitment to RHD cars for India has implications for the UK market. Cars sold on the sub-continent will be badged as Renaults, as they are in Brazil. The UK will see Dacia reappearing to these shores after a 30 year gap, however.
UK cars will arrive in late 2012 and be available in two wheel drive and four wheel drive versions. Engines will be a 1.6 petrol and a 1.5 Cdi Renault diesel in three states of tune. Expect 104mph top speed from the fastest with a 0-60mph dash in around 12 seconds. Dacia is talking about a fuel consumption of 55mpg from the most economical diesel model, with CO2 outputs of 135g/km.
The Duster badge was last seen in the UK in the 1980s on a rebadged ARO10 4×4 utility vehicle which sold in low numbers. Dacia’s main offering in the UK at the time was the Denem, a mid-sized saloon car based on the ageing Renault 12 and sold under the slogan “The Very Acceptable Dacia Denem”. Sales ended in 1982.