Dacia Confirms the Production of a New SUV
(Worldcarfans) - This is something everyone knew beforehand, but official statements turn strong rumours into reality: François Fourmont, Dacias president, has confirmed the Romanian brand will build a sort of SUV" in an interview before the official presentation of the Dacia Sandero to the European market, which will take place at the Geneva Motor Show. The information has been presented both by Autocar and Automarket.ro, the original source of the information, but we are not than fluent in Romanian, unfortunately.
The new car, according to Automarket.ro, will be based on the Logan Steppe Concept, but we would bet on a stronger possibility, also brought up by Autocar as a first option: the new SUV will be based on the Sandero. Besides presenting more modern looks, and an SUV would cost a little more, appealing to more demanding customers, Sandero has been spotted with all-wheel drive and tall suspension in the Romanian factory of Pitesti, undergoing tests, according to Autocar. It has also first been introduced in Brazil, a country were the "a sort of SUV" type of vehicle has proved to be a huge success since the introduction of the Fiat Palio Weekend Adventure, in 1999. Therefore, it would be a natural decision to premiere the SUV in the South American country as well.
Also called "boutique off-roads", an expression for their off-road looks, but lack of 4WD and, therefore, reduced (or no) off-road capabilities, these cars are frequently criticised for presenting only a reinforced and raised suspension. The first vehicle that has gone a little beyond that was the Ford EcoSport, based on the current Ford Fiesta, which has the SUV looks and a flagship version equipped with all-wheel drive. Renault is long said to be preparing its SUV over the B0 platform and has even hired one of the men responsible for the EcoSport project in Ford, Cassio Pagliarini, who is currently the Marketing Director of the French automaker in Brazil.
Renault and Ford project's similarities are evident: the new Dacia/Renault SUV will be a front wheel drive vehicle with 4WD option (just like the EcoSport) and its strongest sales argument will be the low price (EcoSport is the cheapest Brazilian SUV). Over the Ford competitor, the SUV based on the Sandero would also offer a lot more space. We must have more news about Dacia/Renault's "sort of SUV" in the months to come. The official presentation will surely not wait until 2009, since the car is part of Renault's Contract 2009.