Renault DCross debuts

22 Oct, 2012 2:15pm Jack Rix

Renault has unveiled a Duster-based, off-roader concept at the Sao Paulo Motor Show

Renault has revealed a rough and ready off-roader concept at the Sao Paulo Motor Show.

The DCross concept is based on the Duster (which is badged a Dacia in the UK) and is aimed at primarily at the Brazilian market, but has potential to influence a production model in Europe, too.

"In Brazil customers love the rough image of the Duster, so this takes that to the maximum," Olivier Murguet, CEO of Renault Brazil, told us. "It's been 100 per cent developed by Brazilian designers in our studio here in Sao Paulo."

Finished in lurid green paint and with heavy body cladding and a spare wheel on the roof, the concept is designed to draw attention to the Duster, but could make a range-topping model itself: "We never do anything without having a good idea of where we're going. This is a vision of the future," Murguet revealed.

All Dacia models, including the Sandero and Duster, are sold in Brazil as Renaults, and Murguet explained why: "In Brazil there's no such thing as a low-cost market, it doesn't exist. So here we take the strength of Dacia - practicality, versatility - and add a Renault interior, flex-fuel engines and better suspension."

Also on the stand was a facelifted version of the MkII Clio, called the Mercosur. The front and rear take inspiration from the latest Clio, but the underpinnings are identical to the car first introduced in the UK in 1998.