Budget brand Dacia tackling Dakar with eFuel-powered racer

Budget brand Dacia tackling Dakar with eFuel-powered racer


Price range model Dacia has introduced it can enter the Dakar Rally from 2025 with a car created in collaboration with British motorsport and automotive tech agency Prodrive. 

The Romanian producer says it can use the event of the racing prototype entered within the World Rally-Raid Championship as a possibility to check new applied sciences for its street automobiles. 

Though not beforehand related to rallying, Dacia believes the Dakar Rally is a “good illustration of the steadiness between the ‘rational’ and the ‘emotional’ that lies on the coronary heart of Dacia’s DNA”. 

The T1+ prototype to be developed for Dakar will permit Dacia to exhibit its manufacturing abilities on the subject of all-wheel drive functionality in excessive circumstances. 

The Dacia challenger will compete within the 2024 Rallye du Maroc as a check occasion for the Dakar Rally the next yr and can be piloted by Rally legend Sebastien Loeb and Spaniard Cristina Gutierrez Herrero. 

“Not solely is that this a check of Dacia’s true robustness, however it is usually a displaying of our dedication to low-carbon mobility,” mentioned Dacia CEO, Denis Le Vot. 

Along with Prodrive’s motorsport information and manufacturing capabilities, Dacia may also draw assets for the challenge from its mother or father firm, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. 

Prodrive has seen earlier success within the Dakar Rally, attaining second place in 2022 and 2023. 

Final yr, Prodrive created what it calls the “world’s first all-terrain hypercar”, with energy from a 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine making greater than 447kW and 700Nm. 

The £1.25m (AU$2.38 million) road-legal rendition of Prodrive’s Dakar racer offers “house owners the chance to expertise what it’s wish to drive Loeb’s Dakar automobile throughout the desert, however with all of the comforts of a street automobile and the power to drive it from your property, by way of a metropolis, to any vacation spot of your selection.”

Dacia additionally says that the prototype will run on artificial gas provided by Saudi oil large Aramco. 

The artificial check gas, created by combining “renewable hydrogen with captured CO2, leading to a lower-carbon, drop-in gas”, will permit Dacia to check the effectivity of low-carbon fuels suitable with present combustion engines. 

After Germany’s opposition to the EU’s proposed ban of new combustion vehicles from 2035, it was introduced that combustion-powered car gross sales would proceed past 2035 supplied they “solely use CO2-neutral fuels”. 

With combustion autos now not headed for sure loss of life in these markets, it’s seemingly extra producers, akin to Dacia, will look to the viability of artificial fuels as an extra providing alongside electrical autos. 

Porsche is only one main automaker that has made vital investments in artificial fuels, together with the institution of a production plant in Chile in 2022 and plans to begin manufacturing in Tasmania by 2026.

The Dacia model isn’t at the moment obtainable on the Australian market, however Renault Australia boss Glen Sealey told CarExpert the local market may be on the cards for 2025 when the next-generation Duster might be engineered for right-hand drive. 

Of Dacia’s present product lineup, the fashions that can curiosity Australia are the Duster and Bigster (which remains to be in idea kind), in keeping with Mr Sealey.



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Alex Lorel

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