It was Carlos Ghosn himself who stated back in 2013 that an electric Dacia model could one day happen if the market for EVs continues to develop, which it obviously did and then some.
Is this it though? We very much doubt it, despite the fact that there are many confusing things going on here. What we do know is that our spy photographers identified this prototype as being fully electric (platform is visible underneath), and that it also features a great deal of racing parts.
What am I looking at?
For one thing, this was definitely meant to be a secret test seen as how the car doesn’t even have any license plates. Then there’s the fact that the body has been elongated in order to fit a larger wheelbase (compared to that of an actual Duster), which indicates that this test is more about fine-tuning some type of new technology/setup, rather than this being about a potentially electrified variant of the Romanian crossover.
Meanwhile, the test mule also features a quick release system for the hood and the tailgate, to go with a set of racing seats, a roll cage, Brembo brakes at the front and Renault Alpine brakes at the rear.
One theory is that Renault might be testing a new race car for the Andros Trophy (an ice racing series), where Dacia is already a participant. The Andros Trophy Electrique category was actually the first electric racing series in the world, kicking things off three years before Formula E ever got going. Come 2020, a new four-wheel drive EV class will be added to the calendar.
Whether or not this test mule has anything to do with an actual electrified Dacia product, rest assured that eventually the Romanian automaker will begin selling budget-friendly EVs in markets with a good enough infrastructure. It may take a while, but it should happen.