This is the first glimpse of the new Dacia Duster, a budget crossover that could go on sale in the UK next year.
Confirming the Duster name, parent company Renault has unveiled the car initially as a V6-powered ice-racer that will be piloted by ex-F1 driver Alain Prost in the Trophee Andros.
Although the road car will be substantially toned-down the production car’s silhouette and proportions will be much the same, as will the front and rear lights.
Renault had previously axed plans to bring Dacia to the UK because market conditions made it uneconomic to set up a new brand with small profit margins.
However a source has told Autocar that bringing Dacia to the UK could still happen as soon as 2010. “It is being considered for next year,” he said.
The line-up is likely to consist of the Sandero five-door and the Duster. “A hatch and a four-wheel drive would make sense,” added the source.
The Duster uses the Dacia Logan platform and the engine line-up will almost certainly include the 1.5 dCi Renault powerplant. The car will be launched at next year’s Geneva motor show.
The ice racer features a fibreglass body concealing a tubular chassis and 3-litre, 24-valve V6 in the middle. It delivers peak power of 345bhp at 7500rpm and maximum torque of 265lb ft at 5500rpm.
Weight is kept to just 950kg. Prost will be driving the car for the 2009/2010 season.