DACIA has revealed its new Duster a head of the car’s public debut at next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show. The budget 4×4 is being updated with exterior design changes and an overhauled cabin. Due on sale next year, the revamped SUV represents an evolutionary gene ration jump. It will retain tweaked versions of the same 1.5- litre diesel and 1.2 petrol motors as the outgoing model. It sits on the same platform as the old car, too, and is near-identical in terms of dimensions. But according to the brand’s design boss, Laurens van den Acker, everybody panel is new.
The latest-generation car has a wider track and reprofiled side panels to ensure the wheels better fill the arches, while the windscreen has been moved forward by 100mm to improve space. The bonnet and belt-line have been raised to give a more protected feel for occupants, and the tail-lights have been pushed out to each corner. Detailed changes such as standard-fit LED running lights, aluminium-accented roof bars and new 17-inch alloy wheels for top-specification cars help freshen the Duster’s appearance, while the rugged silver skid plates fitted front and rear are said to be scratch resistant. Van den Acker says the familiarity of the new car helps “create a strong family look”.
Dacia is keeping the cabin covered up for now, but we know that soft-touch materials will appear in the Duster for the first time. We’d expect an upgrade to the car’s infotainment, potentially allowing users to tap into the processing power of their smartphones via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. And there should also be improvements in switchgear, to banish the Duster’s bargain-basement feel.
Dacia bosses expect the new model to retain a three-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating. However, an optional safety pack will be made available, bringing autonomous braking and other active tech. This is likely to add another star to its score. The new Duster will initially be launched in France early next year, with UK deliveries scheduled from summer 2018. Both two-wheel-drive and selectable four-wheel-drive versions will feature in the line-up.