Duster crossover will be shown at Geneva
2 March 2009

These are the first pictures of the Dacia Duster concept, an SUV crossover revealed at the Geneva motor show.

Designed to look like a four-wheel-drive sports coupe, the Duster is actually a far more versatile vehicle. A rear-hinged door on the passenger side provides access to the rear seats and increases functionality, but helps to maintain the car’s coupe-like look from the driver’s side.

The Duster’s modular seat design also allows the front passenger seat to slide under the driver to improve load space, and a recess in the floor has been specifically engineered to increases the room for taller objects such as bikes.

Its unusual proportions mean the 4.25m-long Duster is similar in length and height (1.49m) to a small estate car, but with the width (1.64m) of a city car.

The two-tone chocolate and blue cabin has been designed to complement the show car’s grey paint, and utilise the light provided by the full glass roof.

Power for Dacia’s first-ever concept car comes from a 1.5-litre diesel engine producing 103bhp and emitting 139g/km of CO2.

Dacia, however, is not about to make a bicycle-carrying coupe, says Dacia's global marketing man Vincent Carré, despite the appearance of the fastback Duster.

"We will only use some elements of this design, because they are not all low cost," he said.

They include the bold grille design and the reconfigurable seats – the front passenger seat can be stowed behind the driver’s, allowing the car to swallow a bicycle. These features could appear on a Dacia crossover in 2010.

The unfavourable pound-euro exchange rate has frozen plans to launch Dacia in the UK, but all models have been engineered for right-hand drive, says Carré, and will enable the brand to ‘move fast’ if conditions allow.

George Barrow/Richard Bremner

Geneva cars: news and images

Chery DR, Ferrari 599XX, Ford Iosis Max, Frazer Nash Namir, Hyundai ix-onic, Infiniti Essence, Kia No3, Lagonda Concept, Lamborghini Murcielago SV, Land Rover Freelander TD4_e, Mazda CX-7, Mini JCW Cabriolet, Mitsubishi iMIEV Sport Air, Nissan Qazana, Renault Megane RS, RUF Greenster, Skoda Fabia vRS, Skoda Yeti, Tata Nano Europa, Toyota Prius, Volkswagen Polo

Autocar.tv: see Mike Duff's in-depth Geneva show coverage

Lagonda Concept, Skoda Yeti, Rolls Royce 200 EX, Vauxhall Ampera, Nissan Qazana, Infiniti Essence, Bentley Continental Supersports, Ford Iosis Max

Video blogs from the show floor

Audi TT RS, Ferrari 599XX, Hyundai ix-onic concept, Kia No3, Lamborghini Murcielago SV, Mercedes E-class coupe, Peugeot 3008, Renaultsport Megane, Subaru Legacy, VW Polo

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Ford Mustang
    First Drive
    24 March 2018
    Sixth-generation Mustang gets a leaner face, revised suspension, improved safety equipment and a more power V8. We see how it fares on southern French roads
  • First Drive
    23 March 2018
    Fully-loaded, big-hitting diesel CLS shows the potential perils of ticking too many options boxes on your order form. A good car with a bad suspension combination.
  • BMW M5
    First Drive
    22 March 2018
    Super saloon deploys four-wheel drive to improve every facet of its driving experience. Faster and more capable than any, and more exciting than most, of its celebrated predecessors
  • Range Rover Sport SVR
    First Drive
    22 March 2018
    More power and an intoxicating soundtrack have breathed new life into our love affair with the biggest, baddest Range Rover Sport variant
  • First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new Vantage has been developed as a Porsche 911 beater, and our first taste on UK roads suggests it can live up to that bold claim