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Dacia Duster gains more powerful engine

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The Dacia Duster is one of the most affordable off-roaders on the market, but it has always lagged behind rivals in the sophistication stakes. This bargain basement machine, however, is now available with a punchy 123bhp turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol engine borrowed from parent company Renault, which should give it a dose of extra performance, along with strong fuel economy.

Available exclusively in four-wheel drive form, this new model should offer faster acceleration than the current 104bhp 1.6-litre petrol model – which takes a substantial 12.8 seconds to lumber to 62mph – while providing considerably higher fuel economy than the 35.3mpg that the current petrol option achieves. Central to this is fuel-saving kit like a start-stop system and brake energy recovery, which stores energy typically lost when braking, in the battery. 

With plenty of power at low engine speeds, the new motor should also make for an easier driving experience. Helping to boost the Duster’s off-road credentials, the ‘TCe 125’ model will feature a very short first gear – to help it climb steep slopes – plus a long sixth gear to make for relaxed and economical progress on the motorway. 

This four-wheel drive model will also allow drivers to choose from two-wheel drive mode – which should reduce fuel economy – four-wheel drive mode, which splits power equally between front and rear wheels and an auto mode that sends power to the wheels with the most grip.

The new 1.2-litre petrol engine will find its way into UK-bound Dusters in 2016. Prices, performance and economy figures are yet to be released.

Author: Christofer Lloyd

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