The Duster is one of the most popular models under the Renault umbrella across the globe. Sold under the brand name Dacia in Europe, the Duster not only appeals to the pocket but also gets powerful and frugal engine options under the hood sending power to all four wheels. Now, taking the compact SUV to a whole new level, Renault has been working on a Duster based pickup model that was spotted testing in Romania and gets rid of the rear seats and roof to make way for a large load carrier.
As the images indicate, the Duster pickup has ditched the entire passenger cell from the B-pillar that gets replaced by a flat bed. The front fascia gets no changes compared to the SUV version and carries the twin-slat chrome grille available on the Duster facelift (not available in India yet). The model however has retained black bumpers instead of body coloured ones that help save costs, with black cladding on the sides and the wheel arches to complete the rugged appeal on the pickup.
The Duster pickup also gets a roll cage around the front passenger cell for protecting the occupants. There is also an adventure version expected of the Duster pickup with an additional hoop at the back, while the spare tyre is mounted on the roof. In terms of powertrain, expect the tried and tested 1.5-litre dCi 4-cylinder diesel engine to continue powering the model, while changes will include a heavier suspension setup to take the additional weight. Renault is expected to offer the Duster pickup in both 2WD and 4WD options.
If the Duster pickup does make it to production, it will fill in the shoes left by the Dacia Logan for the European market and will also be sold in other emerging markets across the globe. It is believed that the Duster pickup will be enroute to markets like Brazil and South Africa, while an India launch is highly unlikely as pickups don’t sell well in the passenger car space. While the mule being tested is a prototype, we do believe that the actual production ready model won’t be much different and an official unveil can be expected at the Paris Motor Show in October this year. Sales are expected to commence in 2015 across Europe.
Source – DaciaOltcitAro