Renault's sub-brand Dacia is to be launched in the UK with an SUV priced from what the company calls a "shockingly affordable" £8,995.
127 UK Dacia retailers will have the Duster in showrooms from tomorrow (June 28).
To tie-in with its UK pre-launch activities at the Goodwood Festival of Speed which also starts tomorrow with the Moving Motor Show, Dacia has announced UK pricing and specification of the "SUV for supermini, or in some cases, even city car money".
A Dacia statement said: "Since its resurgence under Renault Group ownership, international demand has been so high for the Dacia value brand, including the Duster SUV, that right-hand drive production has not been possible until now.
"By the end of 2012, the all-new Renault-Nissan Alliance factory in Chennai, India will be producing Britain’s most affordable SUV. Versions reaching UK shores will also benefit from several changes, including improved interiors and facelifted exterior touches. Shortly afterwards, the all-new Sandero supermini will also join the fray, giving Europe’s fastest-growing automotive a two-pronged assault on the UK car market, both new and used."
The Duster will be available in three trim levels, in both 4x2 and 4x4 versions.
"Everything that Dacia does is centred around simplicity and eliminating the unnecessary. Its model range for the UK reflects this strategy, giving customers the ability to buy exactly what they need and nothing more. In spite of eye-catching entry model prices, contrary to what one might expect, a significant proportion of Western European buyers tend to treat themselves. Most tend to plump for top-of-the-range versions such as the Laureate, which offers alloy wheels, air conditioning and electric windows and mirrors, all for the price of a mid-range supermini," said Dacia.
Access is the entry level grade, starting at £8,995 on-the-road (4x2). The 4x4 version costs £10,995. Available with a 105hp 1.6-litre petrol engine in either 4x2 or 4x4, the entry point to Duster ownership has standard features such as 16-inch steel wheels and longitudinal roof bars, electric front windows, four airbags, height adjustable steering wheel and ISOFIX points on the outer rear seats, spare wheel (on the 4x4), ABS and emergency brake assist, remote central locking, together with radio and speaker pre-wiring.
The next grade is Ambiance, with prices starting at £11,495, rising to £13,495. Additional spec include a 4x20W radio/CD with aux, Bluetooth and USB connectivity and steering-column mounted controls, plus body coloured bumpers, 60/40 split folding rear seats, front fog lights and height adjustable driver’s seat.
The flagship of the Duster range in the UK, and the expected best-seller accounting for around two thirds of orders, will be Lauréate, costing between £12,995 and £14,995.
Additional features include 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, electric rear windows, leather steering wheel and trip computer, satin chrome for the roof bars, scuff plates, side sills and door handles,body coloured, heated and electrically adjustable door mirrors, piano black detailing on on the door handles, centre console surround, plus steering wheel and door panel inserts.
Its boot gives 475-litre load space (408 litres in 4x4 with spare wheel), while with rear seats dropped it is 1,636 litres.
The option list is deliberately limited in order to "reduce production line complexity" and therefore costs to customers.
So the option list is: ASR traction control and ESC on diesel-engined versions for £350, and metallic paint.
All trim levels have non-metallic white as standard. The choice of four metallic paint finishes on Ambiance and Laureate are argentum silver, Caspian blue, granite grey and Mariana blue, priced at £470 including VAT.
There are four accessory packs.
The first, Adventurer, includes door sill protective mouldings and front and rear wheel arch protectors, at £445 including VAT. The second, Styling, costs £655 and offers daytime running lights and chrome for the side and front bars and exhaust tailpipe. Protection offers an alarm, rear parking sensors, tailgate protection, bootliner and front and rear mudguards at £575. The last, Touring, costs £555 and consistts of a towbar and transversal roof bars, plus a front centre armrest.