Dacia Duster Dakar

If you've ever seen a Dacia up close, it'd probably strike you as one of the least likely vehicles to take racing. The Romanian-made vehicles (also sold as Renault models in certain markets) typically drive around a hundred horsepower to the front wheels through a five-speed gearbox and offer little more. Nor should they, really, because they're budget-oriented forms of transportation, but neither should they be taken racing. Or so you might assume, but apparently nobody has told that to the engineers at Renaultsport, who have prepared Dacias to compete at Pikes Peak, in the Andros Trophy for ice racing and at the Dakar rally.

That's where the firm's Argentinean team intends to field a pair of V6-powered Dusters next month. In fact they already entered an earlier version of the vehicle in the rally this past January, but apparently couldn't manage to finish any higher than 29th place. The Renault team is undoubtedly hoping for a better result this year, and while they haven't released any details on the vehicle's specifications, you can check it out in the video clip below.