First look: Renault typeface replaces Dacia Link on new Duster

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Written By Maya Cantina

Renault South Africa has confirmed it expects to bring the Duster to market in the final quarter of this year.

Its world debut having taken place last year under the Dacia moniker for markets in Europe, the Romanian brand’s parent company, Renault, has released first images of its equivalent – initially only in Turkey.

Discreetly changes outside

Likely to be the only Dacia conceptualised models to be marketed under both brands as per comments made in 2018 by Renault Design boss, Laurens van den Acker, the images uploaded to the Renault Turkey website sees the Duster retaining the Y-shaped LED headlights and overall design from the Dacia version, but with the marque’s Link badge replaced by a block letter Renault script across the grille.

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One of the first Renault models not to sport the redesigned diamond badge introduced in 2021 after the post-pandemic “Renaulution” re-structuring plan, the logo in question has, however, been retained in place of the Dacia emblem on the bootlid and on the wheel caps.

New inside

Inside, the switch from Dacia to Renault has been equally minor and principally involves the Link logo giving away to the Renault rhombus on the steering wheel hub.

Everything else has been carried over, including the seven-inch digital instrument cluster, the new 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and optional satellite navigation, a wireless smartphone charger, type-C USB ports, dual-zone climate control and on higher-end models, the six-speaker Arkamys sound system.

Renault diamond logo has replaced the Dacia Link on the steering wheel hub as the biggest interior difference between both models. Image: Renault Turkey

Also retained are the array of safety and driver assistance systems, whose availability will vary depending on the selected trim level.

Noteworthy tech items offered is Driver Attention Alert, Lane Keep Assist, Autonomous Emergency Braking and Lane Departure Warning.

Same engines and 4WD system

Dimensionally unchanged from the Dacia Duster, meaning not only the same dimensions but also boot space, the Renault Duster also gets the 4×4 Terrain Control system on all-paw gripping models, comprising Downhill Assist Control and five driving modes; Eco, Auto, Snow, Mud/Sand and Off-Road.

New Duster leaks as a Renault
Overall facia design remains the change, apart from the Renault logo on the tailgate in place of the Dacia badge. Image: motor1.com Brazil

Mechanically, the Renault Turkey website names three engine choices for the Duster; the 1.0-litre turbocharged Eco-G that runs on liquefied petrol gas and produces 74 kW, the mild-hybrid turbocharged 1.2-litre TCe petrol that produces 96 kW and the E-Tech Hybrid 140 that combines a normally aspirated 1.6-litre petrol engine with a 1.2-kWh battery pack for a total system output of 103 kW.

Patience

Turkey being one of the few markets in Europe where the Dacia name won’t be used based on the position of the Renault marque, production of the Duster will take place at the Bursa plant not only for the Turkish domestic market, but also for export nations, mainly those in the Middle East.

According to motor1.com Brazil, the same is likely to apply to markets in Africa and by extension, South Africa, whose current sourcing destination for the outgoing Duster has been the main Dacia plant in Mioveni, Romania.

A now certainty for the local market based on the Renault variant’s reveal, the Duster is anticipated to make landfall in the fourth quarter of 2024 – around the same time as the world reveal of the step-up Bigster – though at present, no further details are known apart from only the four-wheel-drive model being investigated.

However, expect clear details to only emerge closer to year-end.

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