Typically when an automaker makes a new rally car – whether for gravel, sand, snow or ice – it's based on... well, a car. Usually a hatchback, like the Subaru Impreza, Citroën DS3 or Volkswagen Polo. Lately, some have been going a different route with crossover-based rally cars, but Renault's latest is neither hatchback nor sedan nor crossover. It's a minivan.

After contesting the Andros Trophy for two years with a specially-prepared Dacia Duster – which also formed the basis for its Pikes Peak challenger – the French automaker's Romanian budget brand is returning for a third winter season to the French ice racing series with a new beast based on the Lodgy MPV. The production version of the minivan isn't set to be unveiled itself until the Geneva Motor Show in March.

The resulting Lodgy Glace (the latter from the French for "ice") was prepared by independent contractors like Tork Engineering and Sodemo under the watchful eye of Renault Sport Technologies. Its tubular steel frame packs a Nissan-sourced 3.0-liter 24-valve V6 engine mounted amidship and sending 355 horsepower to all four wheels via a SADEV six-speed sequential gearbox.

The season kicks off on December 3 at Val Thorens, where four-time F1 champion Alain Prost and his son Nicolas, together with ice-racing veteran Evens Stievenart, will be taking on all comers. Follow the jump for the full press release and scope out the quarter of high-res images for a closer look at their new ride.
Show full PR text
DACIA UNVEILS ICE RACING LODGY MPV TO TACKLE THE TROPHEE ANDROS

- For its third appearance in the Trophée Andros, and true to its values, Dacia has rewritten the rules with the unveiling of its highly original Dacia Lodgy Glace. It has entered two cars for the 2011/2012 ice-racing series and recruited a top-level driver line-up: Alain Prost, Nicolas Prost and Evens Stievenart!
- The first round of this winter's championship will be held on 3-4 December, at Val Thorens, France.

LODGY GLACE: THEY'LL ALL BE TALKING ABOUT DACIA'S LATEST ARRIVAL
The Dacia Lodgy Glace is the rebellious little sister of the new family road car which will be launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2012. Its name evokes notions of generous interior space and the importance of family. However, thanks to its audacious character and record of rising to the craziest sport-oriented challenges, Dacia has decided to make its third Trophée Andros campaign truly exceptional by rewriting all the rules. For the first time in the event's history, the series will feature an MPV.

To spice up the new season, not just one but two Lodgy Glace entries will take to on the grid for every race: one will be driven by Alain Prost, who finished as runner-up in the 2010 and 2011 Trophée Andros, at the wheel of a Dacia Duster Glace. The other Lodgy Glace will be shared by his son, Nicolas Prost and Evens Stievenart, Alain Prost's team-mate and joint winner of last winter's Superfinal at the Stade de France, Paris. It's a question of family and friendship at the wheel of a family car; a fitting parallel with a clear goal: victory.

The Lodgy Glace has been designed specifically for this unique racing series, which is renowned as one of the most challenging in motorsport. The technical regulations of the Trophée Andros are extremely strict, and impose restrictions on all aspects of the vehicle (chassis dimensions, gearbox, tyres), including the materials employed. Everything is done to limit the use of complex and costly technical solutions: instead, this series is all about finding simple, ingenious solutions, a measure which fits perfectly with the Dacia brand. The series also brings the car's reliability to the fore, combined with driver skill.

Custom-prepared by the teams at Tork Engineering (design, production, assembly) and Sodemo (engine), the Lodgy Glace benefits from the full expertise of Renault Sport Technologies (RST). Throughout the project, RST has contributed its technical and sporting expertise from the world of motorsport: it acts like a conductor, perfectly coordinating the different technical partners and disciplines (design, engineering), the Dacia brand and the drivers.

The new Lodgy Glace draws on both the proven technical solutions of its predecessor, Dacia Duster Glace, and specific developments. On the technical front, the Trophée Andros is a series where tiny details can play a decisive role. The experience gained during previous seasons has been used to conduct a thorough analysis, whose conclusions have led to improvements in:

suspension: track conditions from last year were replayed on the four-post rig at the CERAM test circuit in France, in order to develop new set-ups based on the new steering calibration;
engine performance: last season, engine development focused on improving bottom-end performance. This year, the engine's peak power has also been increased.

DACIA – A GLOBAL SUCCESS STORY

NEARLY 360,000 DACIA VEHICLES SOLD IN FRANCE SINCE 2005
Dacia continues to take the global automotive industry by storm. Originally conceived to tackle primarily emerging markets, the Romanian brand has since become a serious player in Western Europe too. The eagerly-awaited brand is set to launch in the UK in late 2012 with the Duster crossover, followed soon after by the Sandero supermini in early 2013. Since its launch in France in 2005, nearly 360,000 Dacias have been sold. Its current market share (end October 2011) is a remarkable 3.4%, making it the country's eighth-largest brand in the passenger car and LCV market. It ranks an even more impressive fifth in the retail market.

A HIGH-IMPACT TEAM
Run on ice circuits, where track conditions vary widely according to the weather conditions, the Trophée Andros provides the drivers with a stern test. Each and every one of them must possess precision, agility, rigour and inventiveness to succeed. The Trophée Andros is a unique competition in which consistency and performance are equally important.

After securing runner-up honours at the end of the 2010 and 2011 seasons, Alain Prost and Dacia naturally decided to continue together into the new season... and to launch a new adventure with a second Dacia entry, driven by his son Nicolas Prost and Evens Stievenart, joint winner of the 2010/2011 Superfinal alongside Alain Prost at the Stade de France. With this second entry, Dacia aims to give two talented, young drivers the opportunity to race for a top team.

Naturally, every driver wants to be in the hunt for victory, but the common goal is to win the team standings. It's a two-pronged challenge that will add extra excitement to the season.

Alain Prost said: "Nicolas and Evens are both Trophée Andros regulars, who love this series. We can't wait for the new season to begin. The idea of competing in the Trophée Andros as rivals and partners within the same team is a great sporting challenge for both them and for me."

Nicolas Prost added: "I can't wait to get behind the wheel of the Lodgy Glace. After winning the Trophée Andros Electrique in 2010 and 2011, I'm looking forward to proving myself again this year. It's going to be great measuring myself against Dad!"

Evens Stievenart: "For me, the Trophée Andros is a unique challenge and something I'm passionate about. It's highly technical in terms of driving style and set-up; you need to push yourself throughout the Andros. Competing against Alain and Nicolas Prost within the same Dacia team is a huge challenge and great pleasure for any driver."

ALAIN PROST
Born: February 24, 1955, in Lorette, France
Four-time F1 World Champion: 1985 (McLaren), 1986 (McLaren), 1989 (McLaren), 1993 (Williams Renault)
First win in 1981, driving a Renault F1 car (RE 30), at Dijon, in the French Grand Prix.
199 Grand Prix starts.
51 wins. 41 fastest laps. 33 pole positions. 798.5 points.
1997-2001: Team Principal of Prost Grand Prix

Trophée Andros record:
- First race: January 17-18, 2003 (Lans-en-Vercors)
- First win: December 13, 2003 (Alpe d'Huez)
- Titles: two (2006/2007 and 2007/2008)
- Championship position in 2009/2010 series: second (Team Dacia)
- Championship position in 2010/2011 series: second (Team Dacia)

NICOLAS PROST
Born: August 18, 1981 in Saint-Chamond, France; the eldest son of Alain Prost.
2003: his motorsport debut in Formula Renault Campus France, a series for young drivers.
2004: third-placed rookie in Formula Renault
2005: entered in Formula Renault 2.0. He also competed alongside his father in the French GT championship.
Since 2009 : Le Mans Series Endurance
End 2009: took part in the inaugural Trophée Andros Electrique. Notwithstanding the entries of specialist ice racers, he won the 2010 championship with 5 pole positions, 6 wins and a total of 18 podiums in 21 races.
2011: Trophée Andros Electrique champion with 4 pole positions, 8 wins, 21 podiums and 7 fastest laps.

EVENS STIEVENART
Born: January 21, 1983, in Abbeville, France.
A lover of fast driving and power slides from an early age, Evens Stievenart is Trophée Andros specialist.
2010/2011 Trophée Andros: he scored 3 podiums 6th place in the overall standings, plus a win at the Stade de France with Alain Prost and Dacia.

Trophée Andros record:
- First win: Lans en Vercors (2006)
- Victory at the Stade de France, Paris, with Yvan Muller (2005)
- Victory at the Stade de France, Paris, with Alain Prost and Dacia (2011)
- Championship position in 2010/2011 season: 6th (Privateer team and Skoda)
- 10 podiums in the Elite category
- Best championship finish: 5th

DACIA LODGY GLACE – TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

CHASSIS
Type: tubular steel
Suspension: double wishbones; adjustable Öhlins integrated springs/damper units

ENGINE
Type: VQ 30 developed from the Renault-Nissan Alliance 24-valve V6
Position: mid-rear
Cubic capacity (cc): 2,987
Bore x stroke (mm): 93 x 73.3
Maximum power: 355hp @ 7,500rpm
Maximum torque: 360Nm @ 5,500 rpm

TRANSMISSION
Type: four-wheel drive
Gearbox: SADEV 6-speed sequential
Differentials: limited slip front and rear

BRAKES
Front: 300mm Ø steel discs
Rear: 265mm Ø steel discs
Calipers: Beringer 4 pot

WHEELS
Rims: 5.5'' x 16'' magnesium
Tyres: Continental Ice Racing Contact 3

DIMENSIONS/WEIGHT
Length: 4,001mm
Width: 1,900mm
Front/rear track: 1,690mm
Wheelbase: 2,500mm
Weight: 950kg
Fuel tank: 25 litres

STEERING
Type: 4 wheel steering
Hydraulic power steering
Cam-adjustable rear steering

PARTNERS & SPONSORS
Eurodatacar
Renault Sport Technologies
Sodemo
Tork Engineering

THE TROPHEE ANDROS
The Trophée Andros was first organised in 1990. The technical regulations specify that the 'body shell' of the race vehicle should reflect that of a car that is either in production or about to be launched. Most technical components of the car are defined by the regulations: tubular chassis, four-wheel drive and steering, 3 litre V6 engine developing around 340hp, six-speed gearbox and Continental Ice Racing Contact 3 tyres.

The races:
A round of the Trophée Andros consists of two days of racing. On the first day, timed practice (no points awarded) followed by two qualifying rounds. The cars (four per race) compete over four timed laps. The cumulative time over the four laps determines the winner of the round. Only the best of the two heats counts. The performance demonstrated during these heats fix an order that counts for 80 of the points.

2011/2012 Trophée Andros calendar:
December 3-4: Val Thorens
December 9-10: Andorra
December 16-17: L'Alpe d'Huez
January 6-7: Isola 2000
January 13-14: Lans en Vercors
January 20-21: Saint Dié des Vosges
January 27-28: Superfinal Clermont/Superbesse


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 2 Comments
      Elmo
      • 3 Years Ago
      GREAT! And in other news...
      POV
      • 3 Years Ago
      355 hp... C'mon keep creeping up until we get back to Group B specs! Proof that even the most pedestrian looking car/van can look cool with liberal rules regarding bodywork. :)