• Jan 31, 2011
Dacia Duster Andros Trophy – Click above for high-res image gallery

We know that looks like snow in the picture above, but imagine all that white stuff as the winding circuit that ascends Pikes Peak instead. The legendary (and brutal) Pikes Peak International Hill Climb has been dominated by the likes of Suzuki's Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima in years past, and while Rhys Millen has been eager to win back his daddy's title, reports indicate that both Tajima and Millen could have a new challenger to deal with this year.

The challenge could come from the Andros Trophy – the French ice racing series that attracts big names from F1 like Alain Prost and Jacques Villeneuve. As much about the drivers as it is about the cars, the Andros Trophy series has been dominated by two names over the past several years: the aforementioned quadruple F1 champion Prost, and Jean-Philippe Dayraut. The former won the trophy in 2007 and 2008, the latter in 2009 and 2010, and the both of them are currently tangling for the 2011 title.

Prost switched from the Toyota Auris in which he won the trophy twice to the specially-prepared Dacia Duster pictured above. Dayraut left his Skoda Fabia to Villeneuve in favor of the BMW 1 Series. If reports prove accurate, however, it could be Dayraut taking the Dacia to Pikes Peak. French reports say Dayraut's people approached Tork Engineering (the firm that set up Prost's Duster) to make a Pike's Peak challenger using the engine from the Nissan GT-R (Dacia is part of the Renault-Nissan alliance) with a projected 850 horsepower and a curb weight under 2,000 lbs.

With those kinds of stats – and that kind of driver – the Dacia hillclimber is shaping up to be a a monster. And Monster Tajima had better take notice.



[Source: Le Blog Auto]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Thanks to that funny UK commercial, I am a fan of Dacia Duster
      • 3 Years Ago
      Based on those pics, it looks like that Dacia has four-wheel steering, neato.
        • 3 Years Ago
        My thoughts exactly. Nissan did stick 4-wheels steering on a bunch of vehicles in the 90's.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I came in to say the same thing!

        Pretty neat...
      • 3 Years Ago
      James May will be happy.
      • 3 Years Ago
      COOL!


      ...and in other news.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Duster sounds like a Combine Harvester
      • 3 Years Ago
      Who could ever imagine that happening 10 years ago...Dacia, a marginal Eastern European car manufacturer , set to win Pikes Peak...!!!
        • 3 Years Ago
        Eh, since it was purchased by Renault 11 years ago it can hardly be called Eastern European.

        Oh, and the original Dacia company was founded in 1966 with assistance from *Renault*.
      • 3 Years Ago
      GOOD NEWS!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Mechanical 4 wheel steering, AWD, 850!! hp, less than 2000 lbs, amazing driver.

      Yes please.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Again with the green screen photography shots--it just looks SO bad. Can they not find snow in Romania?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nice! I've always dreamed of having a little all-wheel drive monster. If I ever won the lottery I'd have something like this sitting next to my Ferrari and Lambo.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Andros Trophy came to Sherbrooke (Quebec) back in 2003, it was the most exciting ice rally race I've ever seen. Like others mentioned, the top-class cars have all wheel steering and barrelled down the ice-sheet come racetrack at insane speeds in their tube-framed cars.
      • 3 Years Ago
      A purer hit of unadulterated win I have yet to see.
        • 3 Years Ago
        It reminds me of the SHOgun and the other great hatches with monster engines stuffed in their rears. All are little pieces of pure awesome.
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