AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Cars That Are Available in North America but Not in the USA
Think we have it good in the US when it comes to automotive selection? Think again. There are quite a few cars available to our neighbors from the North and South, but not in our dealerships. What gives?
Here’s the scoop: many of these cars might not pass our emissions or safety standards, while others don’t fit into some automakers US lineups. Other cars, like the Nissan Micra may just exist in these smaller markets to test the waters.
Despite these reasons, we still wish that the following cars could make their way to the US, even if takes black-magic or voodoo to bring them. Check out our list and let us know which Non-US, North American car you pine for.
Three time French ice racing champ Jean-Philippe Dayraut has accomplished a lot in his career, but he’s always wanted to race, and win, at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. He accomplished one of the two last week, and despite plenty of enthusiasm, finished just third in on what is recognized as the most challenging event of its kind.
With a time of 10 minutes and 17 seconds, Dayraut was 26 seconds off of Monster Tajima’s record-setting sub-10 minute run and 8 seconds behind Rhys Millen. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, with Tajima a veteran of the mountain and Millen having competed there many times before. Dayraut, however, had just three days to prepare and his purpose-built Nissan GT-R powered mid-engine Dacia Duster race car was built in just three months.
“It’s got to be the most incredible and craziest event I have ever done,” he said after reaching the peak. “The mix of asphalt and gravel calls for special driving skills and I am thrilled to have finished on the podium and competed up there with best.”
But Dayraut’s story doesn’t end there. In a release issues by Dacia parent company Renault, there’s a big hint that the team will be back to contest for the win next year.
GALLERY: Dacia Duster Pikes Peak No Limit
While little known on our shores, the Dacia Duster is a popular crossover in Eastern Europe. In two weeks time, however, it will get plenty of attention here, as it races to the clouds in the annual Pikes Peak hill climb.
The rally car race version of the Duster couldn’t be further from the production model, however, with typically small Euro-spec engine being replaced by a twin-turbo 3.8-liter V6 out of the Nissan GT-R. Making 850-hp the motor now also sits behind the driver in a mid-engine configuration.
Set to be piloted by Jean-Phillipe Dayraut, the Dacia Duster “No Limit” race car recently underwent testing and the team has some wild video to show of just how powerful this machine is.
Watch the video after the jump:
The Romanian racing company Dacia famous for winter racing has joined Renaultsport, and a number of independent firms to build the Dacia Duster. The “No Limit” race car driven by Jean-Phillipe Dayraut was built for the Unlimited class at Pikes Peak.
In this class, there are essentially no restrictions placed on a car’s specifications. In this case, the Dacia Duster features a twin-turbo 3.8-liter V6 from a Nissan GT-R. The engine is tuned to 850-hp, and is mounted behind the cabin, connected to a 6-speed sequential gearbox.
The car will be raced at Pikes Peak on June 26,2011.
If you’ve never witnessed the annual Pikes Peak Hill Climb, you’re truly missing out in an unbelievable experience. The locale itself is a sight to behold and watching high-horsepower machines blast their way up the mountainside is just icing on the cake.
That being said, it’s easy to understand why any automaker would want to compete here. But Renault? And a Dacia Duster – an SUV from the French automaker’s Romanian division?
Rumor has it that this Dacia Duster will differ rather significantly from the street vehicle, packing 850-hp in a body that weighs less than 2,000-lbs. Oh, and it will be mid-engine vehicle too. Some reports indicate it’ll be powered by a Nissan GT-R engine variant, though other rumors are stating it’s a V8 and the GT-R is obviously a six. So we’ll be keeping our eyes out on July 26th when Jean-Philippe Dayraut gets behind the wheel to prove all the skeptics wrong. And if not, at least he got to experience the sights and sounds of Colorado!
GALLERY: Pikes Peak Dacia Duster
The Pikes Peak Hill Climb event attracts racers and car manufacturers from around the world. In the last quarter-century, the Germans, the Japanese and more recently the South Koreans have had a go in conquering this mountain, and now it looks like its Romania’s turn. Yea, Romania.
Dacia might not be well know in America, but they are getting ready to take on Pikes Peak this year with Jean-Phillipe Dayraut at the wheel. He will be driving a Dacia Duster with a tuned engine out of a Nissan GT-R. Peak output should be around 850-hp and since the car weighs under 2000 lbs., it will be quick.
Dayraut, who has won the French ice-racing series, the Andros Trophy in the last two years, is certainly qualified to handle the task. But in order to win, he has to beat the likes of Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima in his modified Suzuki Grand Vitara.
Dacia, which is part of the Renault-Nissan alliance, has recruited Tork Engineering to build their Pikes Peak racer. We can’t wait to see it in action.
As part of our coverage of the Paris Auto Show, we decided to throw in some bonus galleries of cars we thought were cool but didn’t quite fit with the rest of our coverage. Paris was the site for a lot of important competition cars from French manufacturers, like the Peugeot HDi LeMans car, the new Citroen DS3 rally machine and the upcoming Fiesta RS WRC. Hit the jump to check out our galleries and information on the cars.
Rumors that the Dacia Duster could be sold as a Renault have been floating around ever since the vehicle’s launch at the Geneva Auto Show last year, but now comes word that it may also be sold as a Nissan – in markets where Renault doesn’t have a significant presence. “In a market where Nissan had a presence and Renault didn’t, it would be a possibility,” said a company insider to AutoCar. And the most notable of those markets is North America.
For those not familiar with the model, or the brand, the Duster is the first SUV build by Dacia – a sub-brand of Renault (which owns Nissan). It is built in Dacia’s home-market of Romania.
Nissan already has a rather significant crossover and SUV presence in North America and has just added the Juke to that list. The Duster, however, is a true SUV with an optional 4×4 system and real off-road capability. In Europe it is offered with a diesel powerplant only making 105-hp and 266 ft-lbs of torque. And while the Nissan SUV lineup is quite full already, the Duster could fit in under the current Xterra model and really take the fight to Jeep.