Dacia’s prototype SUV breaks cover
16 April 2008

As the grille badge, lack of disguise and raised ride-height reveals, the test mule spied here is a four-wheel-drive version of Dacia’s budget Logan model, being engineered by parent company Renault.Although this prototype is a saloon, the four-wheel drive transmission will - initially, at least - find its way under the stretched seven-seat Logan MCV.This model appears to be a production version of the Logan Steppe concept, which first appeared two years ago at the Geneva motor show. Sources say that the transmission and rear axle is probably sourced from the Kangoo 4x4 which, like the Logan, is derived from the second-generation Clio.Renault has very high hopes for the Dacia Logan range, both in developing nations and in Europe. Eventually the company wants to build one million models each year in factories across the globe.As car sales decline in the saturated western Europe market, Renault bosses see the budget Logan as their way to crack the biggest unexploited new market there is: the two thirds of drivers who have never bought a new car.“The used car market is two to three times the size of the new car market,” said a Renault source, “and we can tap into that with the Logan family.” The new five-door, Logan-based Sandero will be the most popular model in western Europe, though Renault also has high hopes for the budget seven-seat LCV. Right-hand-drive versions of the Logan are also on the way, aimed at the UK, India and South Africa.Further expansion of the Logan family is also being planned. It was revealed earlier this week that Russian carmaker AvtoVaz, which is now part-owned by Renault-Nissan, will be building a budget mini-MPV based on the Logan.Although it will be sold under the Lada brand in Russia and Russian federation countries, the Logan MPV will be badged Dacia in Europe.

Hilton Holloway

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16 April 2008

Could it also be basis for Proton's upcoming MPV/SUV? I saw a clay model being made at its R&D centre earlier this year. The only real problem Proton has right now is a tech partner ie. it does not have the budget to fund its own drivetrain from scratch. One of its current engine suppliers is Renault and engine has hardly any presence in Asia-pacific.

16 April 2008

Surely this defeats the point of 4x4s doesn't it? What's the point of a cheap one if you are trying to proclaim just how very successful and rich you are? (runs for cover...)

16 April 2008

Schwenck - your photo shows you proudly posing next to a Fiat turbo coupe. Something wrong with buying a car (even a 4x4) as a status symbol? The Chinese and Indians are massively driven people and obsessed with status symbols. They're going to dominate the world stage (and influence heavily world culture) over the next 5 to 50yrs so you better get used to it or you'll have to stay under cover in a resentful grump for decades.

17 April 2008


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