Dacia, Renault Group’s budget carmaker, is coming to the Paris Motor Show next month with a remarkable mobile design lab called the Manifesto, showcasing exterior-focused ideas that may or may not turn into future production vehicles.
For the stripped-down Manifesto concept, Dacia opted to put “no barriers between passengers and the environment” – meaning the concept lacks doors, windows and windshields. It does sport a roof, however, but that appears to have been included to accommodate a fold-out modular rack with adjustable bars rather than to protect occupants from a downpour.
Indeed, the interior has been sealed so that users can run a jet washer inside to remove accumulated mud and dirt – although campers will want to remove the seat covers first, as these can be used as sleeping bags.
As with last year’s Sandero, the concept integrates the driver’s smartphone into the dashboard for infotainment as well as linking to the vehicle’s on-board computer. The “living lab” is also debuting the YouClip system set to feature on next-generation Duster models, where modular attachments can be attached to mounting points in the cabin.
The hood sports running lights on the front of the hood, but there is only one headlight. However, in a nifty twist, this module can be removed and used as a handheld torch. A winch has also been fitted up front “to help you handle your gear and keep it in place”.
Continuing the theme of removable technology, the Manifesto features a dedicated battery power supply on the back that can be removed and used as a portable power source at camp or at home. And the rear area can optionally be transformed into a workbench or a table, with integrated storage.
As the Manifesto is strictly a concept and won’t go into production, Dacia hasn’t defined the powertrain – although the show car has been confirmed to be an electric vehicle with four-wheel drive and fat, puncture-proof airless tires. .
The concept is described as compact and lightweight, which will help with fuel efficiency, and its main plastic body parts (hidden and visible) are made using a composite material called Starkle which can include up to 20% recycled plastic without affecting durability or aesthetics.
“We want to build a range of products that reinforces our brand promise, focusing on the essentials and adapting our vehicles to outdoor activities,” said Dacia design director David Durand. “Beyond our models, we are also working on innovative features that match even more closely the needs and lifestyles of our customers. The Manifesto concept is a “laboratory” for testing and modeling new ideas. The version that you can see today will continue to evolve as we continue to explore. So don’t miss the next models: they will always be smarter, always more suitable for outdoor activities and always more Dacia!”
Check out the gallery for renders and photos of the Manifesto ahead of its appearance at the Paris Motor Show, which begins October 18.