Renault’s budget brand Dacia has lobbed a wild-looking concept car called the Manifesto, its vision for an “essential, cool, robust, affordable and environmentally efficient car”.
The concept is billed a “statement about the brand’s aim to stand by customers as they become ever keener on outdoor pursuits”, and in no way previews a particular future model.
It will be the star of the Dacia stand at the Paris motor show from October 18.
Dacia talks of the concept’s four-wheel drive, generous ride height, chunky wheels and “a body built to withstand the toughest terrain”, though it’s a show car only.
Dacia reckons the lack of doors, windows and windscreen means “there are no filters between the passengers and the environment.
The single headlight can be detached to be used as a torch, and the roof rack carrier bars can shift into a variety of configurations.
The concept airless tyres are puncture-proof and theoretically last as long as the vehicle.
The Manifesto concept’s plastic body parts contain a portion of recycled material made from already processed polypropylene, with a flecked effect.
Dacia says the concept’s removable battery is designed to supply power through a household outlet, in other words vehicle-to-load capability.
The interior is also fitted with natural materials such as the cork covering the dashboard. And, as in the latest Dacia models, the decorative chrome plating is gone.
Inside, Dacia’s ‘Bring-Your-Own-Device’ approach lets you integrate a smartphone into the dashboard and on-board computer.
The company also says the interior can be blasted with a water jet, and has made the seat coverings removable and able to turn into sleeping bags.
“At Dacia, we like to keep it real. As we were developing and exploring new ideas, we felt we needed to push them past 3D simulations and see what they look like in real life,” said Dacia design director David Durand.
“As well as being a designer object, Manifesto concept encapsulates our vision and combines a wide range of innovation – some involve extreme implementation, but they are still affordable for customers. We will be using a few of them on future Dacia models.”
Dacia product performance director Lionel Jaillet called the concept a “lab to try out and mock up new ideas”.
“The version you can see today will keep on evolving as we keep on exploring! So don’t miss the next models: they will be ever smarter, ever more tailored to outdoor activities and ever more Dacia!” he added.
As we reported earlier in the year, expect rebadged next-gen Dacias in Renault Australia dealers by about 2025, with cheaper prices and rugged designs the points of difference.
Renault Australia still plans to sell products from the low-cost Dacia brand here, including the popular-in-Europe Duster SUV – albeit in its next-generation form.
Having first put Dacia products on the local agenda in June 2021, Renault’s Australian licensed distributor Ateco says the case has been quietly moving forward for a market introduction around mid-decade (based on product cycles).
If all goes to plan, expect to see one or more Dacia products in showrooms here, but wearing Renault badges as they do in markets such as South Africa.
Putting Renault badges on Dacia fare will save the company from having to build awareness and support around a largely unknown brand in this country.
“For sure this product we would see as being successful in Australia and would have our hands up for that level of product as well,” said Ateco’s brand manager for Renault Australia Glen Sealey, speaking with CarExpert.
“It’s certainly moving forward, for Duster we see a good opportunity for Australia, but it won’t be with the current Duster, it will be with the all-new Duster. We see a terrific future for that.”