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Dacia has taken quite a different approach in revealing its latest minivan, Lodgy. Rather than traveling the usual auto show circuit and looking pretty on rotating pedestals, a unique, race-prepped Dacia Lodgy has been made to compete in France’s ice rally series, the Trophée Andros, months before any information on the production model is available.
While the race-prepped Dacia Lodgy’s general proportions are likely very similar to the production version, the rally car is built upon a tubular chassis with a profile that sits lower and wider than its production variant. Power comes through a mid-mounted V6 engine good for 355-hp to all four wheels.
Expect the production Dacia Lodgy to debut at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. No technical information yet, but a selection of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines will be offered, including the 1.5 dCi. Sources have also claimed that the people mover will offer both five passenger and seven passenger trims.
GALLERY: Dacia Lodgy
[Source: Left Lane News]
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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 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.
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.