The 2012 ZigWheels Car of the Year will now take on a more rugged form which will see it participate in the 2013 Dakar Rally
Team Renault is gearing up to field their specially designed Duster in the 2013 Dakar Rally which begins on January 5, 2013, in South America. The rally will route through Peru, Argentina and Chile with the starting point at Lima in Peru and the finishing point at Santiago in Chile.
Team Renault conducted their tests in Cordoba and the Nihuil dunes on terrain similar to that of the Dakar course, and the Duster has fared well in the demanding regimen.
The gruesome nature of the Dakar Rally is what makes it a haven for off-roading enthusiasts and SUV motorsport enthusiasts. The teams have to cover a distance of 8000km across various terrains and extreme weather conditions in a span of 15 days. The demanding terrain makes it a hotbed for automobile manufacturers to test the reliability and off-roading potential of their vehicles in the most adverse conditions.
Jose Garcia, who will be at the wheel of the Duster in the Dakar, said, “We are more than pleased with this car that has been extremely reliable. We know we have a very good car with very good benefits that we will achieve our mission in the world's toughest race.”
The Dakar-spec Renault Duster will be powered by a 3.6-litre V6 petrol engine that will put out an impressive 305PS of peak power and 442Nm of torque via a 6-speed gearbox transmission while the drivetrain features an All Wheel Drive (AWD) configuration. The suspension has been fully modified with a four-link front suspension and a double-trapeze rear suspension fitted with beastly rally spec tyres that give it an aggressive look.
The heavily modified Duster is completely different from the production variant sold across the globe. The Renault Duster has not only become the most versatile compact SUV offering in the country with 8 variants in both petrol and diesel but also gives the buyers various price-points to pick from. AlsoRead: 2012 ET ZigWheels Car of the Year : RENAULT DUSTER
Renault will field two Dusters in the 2013 Dakar Rally, and the two teams will feature drivers Emiliano Spataro and Jose Garcia, with Benjamin Lozada and Javier Mauricio Malano as their navigators respectively.
The entry of Renault’s most popular compact SUV in the Dakar, the world’s most extreme off-roading rally, is sure to boost the Duster’s and its maker’s image and reputation.