As you know, Renault’s budget brand Dacia has been a surprise hit in developed, rich-world markets in the last few years. European buyers like the large size of the vehicle, its basic running-gear and cheap configurations. Even loaded, the Duster SUV is priced around 20-percent less than a Nissan Qashqai’s base price.
Along with Dacia’s growing global popularity comes a new Oroch pickup model next year, plus some jazzed-up Dusters with new tech and special-edition trim levels.
The new tech is an automated-manual transmission dubbed Easy-R — which may be the first time a self-shifter has been in the basic Dacia lineup.
The robotized stickshift is a fairly cheap and durable tech addition — while being much lighter and much cheaper than a traditional torque-converter automatic.
With a name like Easy-R, it should be pretty simple to operate. Any automatic should deepen the buyer pool worldwide among young people who cant (or wont) drive a stickshift car.
Among this choosy crowd, the new cloth inside and available backup camera will also be appreciated.
New specials also bow at Frankfurt: the jungle green Edition 2016 Duster and the Urban Explorer Duster with darkened trims and detailing. Both go on sale shortly after the show, with first deliveries estimated by mid November.
2016 Dacia Duster
September 07, 2015
Dacia extends its powertrain offer with the introduction of Easy-R automated manual transmission and presents the Duster édition 2016 at Frankfurt Motorshow
- For the first time, Dacia’s core range is to include Easy-R automated manual transmission.
- The Dacia Duster Édition 2016 catalogue will include a new Altaï Green body colour, as well as upgraded trim, including two new upholsteries, diamond-effect black wheels, MEDIA-NAV Evolution multimedia navigation and, for the first time, the availability of a reversing camera.
- Dacia Duster Edition 2016 to introduce a new limited-edition “Urban Explorer” (depending on market).
For the first time, Dacia is introducing an automated manual transmission called ‘Easy-R’. Mated to the TCe 90 engine, which is also equipped with Stop & Start, this five-speed gearbox will make life on the road easier for drivers by providing the convenience of a gearbox without a clutch pedal. Easy-R will become available for the Logan, Logan MCV, Sandero and Sandero Stepway before the end of the year (depending on market).
Two years after introducing its facelifted Duster, Dacia is further enhancing its signature model’s appeal with further styling changes and added features. New upholstery trims, diamond-effect black wheels, the MEDIA-NAV Evolution sat-nav multimedia system and a reversing camera express the adventurous spirit of the 2016-generation Duster.
Dacia introduces Easy-R automated manual transmission for its core-range models
Dacia extends its powertrain range:
Before the end of the year, the Logan, Logan MCV, Sandero and Sandero Stepway will all be available with the new Easy-R automated manual transmission (specific versions in certain markets). In keeping with Dacia tradition, this new feature will be available at an affordable price.
Coupled with the TCe 90 petrol engine, the Easy-R gearbox combines practicality with comfort at the wheel. With a power output of 90hp and 140Nm of torque, the TCe 90 engine is particularly responsive – even at low revs – and is as much at home in town as it is out on the open road. With Stop & Start fitted, it returns combined-cycle fuel consumption of 4.9 litres /100km  , equivalent to CO2 emissions of 109g/km . These figures are identical to those of a manual gearbox.
Easy-R: affordable two-pedal transmission
Easy-R is the latest addition to Dacia’s powertrain range and fulfils the needs of customers who crave a more flexible style of driving that suits an urban environment.
Easy-R takes the strain out of motoring because it is easy to use and provides the convenience of a gearbox without a clutch pedal. It is fitted with computer-controlled electromechanical actuators that perform a surrogate role for the driver, declutching, changing gear and then re-engaging the clutch. The Easy-R automated manual transmission has two operational modes tailored to cover every situation: ‘Drive’ and ‘Manual’ (impulse shift).
In ‘Drive’ mode, the computer controls gearshifts according to prevailing running conditions. Changes are timed according to factors such as engine revs, vehicle speed, driving style and so on.
In ‘Manual’ (impulse shift) mode, the driver assumes full control of gear changes.
Compared with a traditional manual gearbox, the Easy-R automated manual transmission offers:
– Ease of use and greater comfort:
- The ‘Drive’ mode frees the driver from certain actions (disengagement/re-engagement of the clutch and gear selection). The transmission chooses the best compromise between fuel economy and acceleration, so there’s no risk of stalling and the engine will neither labour nor over-rev.
- in ‘Manual’ mode (impulse shift), performance becomes even more dynamic and responsive as the driver decides when to select and change gears. They can choose an appropriate gear in the event of a sudden, unexpected passing manoeuvre, or when grip levels are low on snow, for example. All that’s required is to move the lever to the ‘M’ position and choose ‘+’ or ‘–‘ to shift up or down a gear.
- In ‘Drive’ mode, the gearbox automatically changes down to access maximum performance should brisk acceleration be needed (kick down). It can downshift one or two ratios to release the engine’s full power – a useful facility, for instance, when emerging from a slip road.
Improved manoeuvrability: in ‘Drive’ mode, the crawl function is optimised. As soon as you lift your foot from the brake, the vehicle automatically moves slowly forwards or backwards without any pressure being applied to the throttle. This facilitates low-speed manoeuvres (such as parallel parking) and – in conjunction with Hill Start Assist – helps to keep the car stable on gentle inclines. It is also a useful asset when proceeding slowly in traffic jams.
– Optimised economy: the automated manual gearbox provides identical fuel economy and CO2 emissions figures to its manual counterpart. As the actuators are required only during gear changes, the Easy-R suffers far fewer energy losses than a conventional automatic transmission.
Quality & durability: The shift from hydraulic to electro-mechanical technology leads to greater driving finesse and improves both durability and reliability. During its development, the Easy-R transmission was evaluated for 130,000 hours on the dyno. Furthermore, every single Easy-R transmission receives thorough quality control checks as it leaves the assembly line.
2016 Dacia Duster Interior
The Duster Édition 2016: new equipment and styling evolutions
The Dacia Duster range is to evolve with the introduction of the Édition 2016 version. All the design features that have contributed to the Duster’s success are being retained, but will be complemented by the incorporation of additional equipment and even more style.
Modified styling for an even more rugged look
Just two years on from the last changes that were introduced to the Duster, the Duster Édition 2016 is available with new black diamond-effect 16-inch alloy wheels that underline its poise. And to confirm the model’s adventurous side, the existing Olive Grey body colour is being superseded by Altaï Green.
Inside, two new trim options (Silicon black and Féderer grey on black) feature discreet grey topstitching and provide the Duster Édition 2016’s cabin with even greater character. Entry-level models in the range will be offered with Silicon black upholstery, while higher-specification cars come with Féderer grey on black. Furthermore, the former cosmos grey trim has been replaced by platinum grey (depending on market and version), notably with regard to the inner door panels, door handles and centre console trim.
A new equipment package
Previously available on limited-edition Anniversary versions, MEDIA-NAV Evolution multimedia navigation is now available on selected versions of the Duster Édition 2016. This comprehensive but simple-to-use system keeps occupants connected.
A reversing camera will also be available as an option on the Duster Édition 2016 for even greater peace of mind and safety.
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.