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Driven by three-time Trophée Andros champion Jean-Philippe Dayraut
Dacia defies the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
With a purpose-built 850hp Duster 'No Limit' prototype

Dacia Duster 'No Limit' aerodynamic tests in the wind tunnel.

Dacia Duster 'No Limit': aerodynamic tests in the wind tunnel.

30 May 2011: Dacia will take a significant initiative to extend the reach of its sportive image by participating in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado, USA, on June 26.

The Romanian brand of the French Renault Group will take part in the event with a purpose-built 850hp Dacia Duster 'No Limit' prototype, driven by three-time Trophée Andros champion Jean-Philippe Dayraut.

Thanks to its range of affordable, reliable and nicely designed vehicles, Dacia has become, in the space of seven years of consistent growth, a significant mainstream player. Last year, Dacia's total sales reached almost 350,000 vehicles (up 11.8 percent over 2009). It was also France's fourth best-selling passenger car brand.

Dacia Duster is France's eighth best-selling model.

Duster, France's 8th best-selling model: 4x2 and 4x4 versions.

Launched in April 2010, the Duster off-roader (sixth vehicle of the Dacia line-up) was an immediate hit, with worldwide sales reaching almost 127,000 vehicles to date. The Duster is available in 4x2 and 4x4 versions. It competes in the compact crossover category (larger than smaller SUVs such as the Daihatsu Terios for instance).

Recently voted '4x4 Car of the Year' by the French magazine '4x4 Magazine', the Dacia Duster is also France's eighth best-selling model, topping the 4x4/crossover segment in 2011.

 Duster 'No Limit'

On the motorsports side, Duster has also become the star of Dacia's activities, taking part in competitions like France's Trophée Andros ice-racing series with Alain Prost (two runner-up titles), the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles (2nd and 3rd places in 2011) and, very soon, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

The special Dacia Duster 'No Limit' was purpose built by teams from Tork Engineering (design, production, assembly, development) and Sodemo (engine), in association with Renault Sport Technologies, which brought its motorsport expertise and certain components.

Dacia Duster 'No Limit', side view.

Duster 'No Limit' gets the Nissan GT-R 3.8-litre V6.

Duster 'No Limit' also complies with the specific regulations of the American competition's 'Unlimited' class which sets no upper limit on the size or power output of the engine. There is no minimum weight, any tyres may be used and there are no restrictions concerning either the transmission system or aerodynamics.

 Engine

Beneath its glass-fibre outer skin, Dacia Duster 'No Limit' conceals a powerful 850hp engine. Specially built by Sodemo and based on the Nissan GT-R's NISSAN VR 38 DETT block (3.8-litre V6), the powerplant of Dacia Duster 'No Limit' has been tuned to deliver its performance despite the high altitudes of the event, which starts at 2,860 metres and finishes at 4,300 metres.

The engine is mated to a sequential six-speed Sadev gearbox specially developed to cope with the engine's power. A special aerodynamic package was developed for the 'No Limit' Duster in the wind tunnel.

Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Location: Colorado (USA)

Date: 26 June 2011 

Course length: 20km

Start altitude: 2,860 metres

Finish altitude: 4,300 metres

Surface type: half-asphalt/half-dirt

Course record ('Unlimited' class): 10m 1.42s (2007), established by Japan's Tajima Nobuhiro (Suzuki).

Jean-Philippe Dayraut managed to convince Dacia and Renault Sport Technologies to join him in the Colorado-based event which calls for impeccable traction, despite the grip variations between the half-asphalt / half-dirt course surfaces.

With six French titles in single-seater and touring car racing and three Trophée Andros crowns – including the last one – to his name, Dayraut says: "The Pikes Peak Hill Climb is the only event where you get to keep a monster like this in check while drifting at speeds of 200kph on a course which features a mix of asphalt and dirt... I can't think of any other form of motorsport where such cars are authorised" (more about the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb from Wikipedia or from the USAC).

 

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