The next generation Dacia Duster will replace the current SUV sooner than most Dacia models. The typical lifecycle of a Dacia model is eight years, but the next-generation Duster could replace the current model in around seven years, mid-2024, and implement many changes.
The program director of the second generation of Dacia Duster Julien Ferry that the upcoming SUV should be “the same” car, indicating the high probability of a familiar design and maintaining excellent value for money. Duster customers expect a basic car with off-road capability, and meeting those needs in the third generation will be a priority.
The Dacia Duster is known for its simple but powerful design with authentic SUV proportions. That’s an aspect it won’t deviate from in the future, but it would become more challenging with the move to the CMF-B platform. Note that we are talking about the low-cost CMF-B LS (Low Specification) platform used in the new Logan, Sandero and Jogger vehicle lines.
The Dacia Bigster Concept presented in January 2021 is intended to form the design basis for the next-generation Duster. In May 2021, Autofacil released patent images that allegedly leaked the exterior design of the production Dacia Bigster. The patent images show subtle changes to the bumper, hood, fenders, mirrors, side windows and spoilers. However, the overall impression comes very close to the concept. In the same month, the total production of Dacia Duster in Mioveni, Romania reached two million units. Dacia started manufacturing the Duster at this plant in 2010 in the first generation and should continue production in the third generation.
Despite being a back-to-basics SUV, the next-gen 2024 Dacia Duster would have to be “essential but cool”, “tough and outdoorsy” and “eco-smart” as these are the pillars of the Dacia brand are. Miles Nürnberger, the company’s new head of design, to Top Gear.
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Dacia has plenty of room to grow when it comes to interior design and materials, Miles said, and so the next-gen Duster should be further refined and contemporary on the inside. For example, it may feature a slimmer dashboard with an intricate texture similar to that of the third-generation Sandero models. Similarly, a floating touchscreen infotainment system will likely improve both style and practicality, while also creating additional storage compartments in the center console. An electric parking brake, wireless connectivity for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a wireless smartphone charging pad and connected car functions are among the other key features expected from the top-of-the-range 2024 Dacia Duster.
Despite the increase in costs to meet new regulations and customer expectations in product specifications, Dacia is expected to keep prices 20% lower than the rest of the market positioned in the same segment.
Platform & Powertrain
The third generation of Dacia Duster 2024 will be a step up for the nameplate, which in its current generation has its roots in the B0 platform and some components from Renault’s used 1998 inventory. Like the new Sandero, the Duster will upgrade to the modern CMF-B platform, which will meet European crash test norms and allow for a Dacia Duster Hybrid variant planned in anticipation of future emissions regulations.
According to an August 2021 report by French publication L’argus, the next-gen Dacia Duster is set to be fitted with the same system that powers the Clio and Captur (dubbed E-Tech). The new 1.8-litre engine, internally codenamed HR18, is a further development of the current 1.6-litre engine.
According to the report, the 1.6L originally called for the use of the Atkinson cycle for engine power, but this would reduce engine power in favor of fuel efficiency and the idea was scrapped. The increased displacement in the 1.8-litre HR18 could allow the switch to the Atkinson cycle without loss of performance, the report says.
The hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants of the Dacia Duster are planned for 2024, and the Bigster, expected in early 2025, will also use this powertrain. Dacia EVP & CEO Denis Le Vot told L’Argus in January 2021 that the company’s “heaviest vehicles will also have a plug-in hybrid system”. So while it’s going to be electrified to make it eco-friendly, the company will ensure it remains rugged and powerful to handle regular terrain without burning a hole in the customer’s wallet.
Dacia Duster EV is scheduled to appear in the next decade
Groupe Renault may be on the EV offensive, but not sure if all brands will go 100% electric. The company assumes that the electrification of the budget brand Dacia will only progress slowly. Gilles Le Borgne, EVP Engineering, Renault Group, said at the Munich Motor Show 2021 (IAA 2021) that the European Union should not ban petrol and diesel cars including semi-electric models from 2035, according to an Autocar report. 2040 is a more practical target, he argued.
Le Borgne said Renault expects the share of electric vehicles in Dacia sales to reach around 10% by 2030. This would mean fewer Dacia electric vehicles will be launched this decade compared to Renault or Alpine. As a result, a Dacia Duster EV will not be part of the third generation Duster family. Luca de Meo, CEO of Groupe Renault, is reportedly predicting that the Dacia brand will go all-electric “at the last possible moment” to maintain its pricing structure.