If you want proof that top-level motorsport outside of Formula 1 and the World Endurance Championship plays a significant role in the development of future car tech, look no further than the electric Dacia Duster prototype being prepped for the Andros Trophy. Renault’s budget brand is readying a new twin-motor racer for the championship’s recently expanded top class, where EVs compete side-by-side with combustion engine models.
Although it was just four months back that the first EV - a silhouette Audi A1 racer – beat its V6 ICE rivals across the line in France, several of the series’ key players appear convinced of the advantages battery-power provides on the ice. With peak torque available instantly and the limited range provided by electricity of little concern during such short sprint races, EVs look like a natural fit for the Andros Trophy.
The Dacia racer might not have much of a soundtrack, but it certainly looks the business. As a silhouetted racer itself the Duster body has been given a heavy dosage of steroids, with its bespoke, detachable rear section and those very muscular wheel arches bearing little resemblance to the road model. There are a set of road alloys, which come wrapped in studded snow tyres, but the coilover suspension behind confirms that its undersides are also completely bespoke – if the flat floor created for the batteries weren’t enough of a giveaway.
Could Dacia be inspired to produce an ultra-quick version of its roadgoing Duster using the same tech? Probably not. Renault already uses the combustion engine Captur race car in the Andros Trophy and we’re yet to meet a roadgoing version of that. Still, the Dacia’s development does perhaps reaffirm the idea that a future of affordable electric cars might not all be boring.