A Dacia Sandero in “DS” mode, the heir to the Peugeot 205 Rallye?

Dacia’s new core values ​​are now cool and adventurous in nature. What if the brand followed up on the Sandero RS, the bombinette sold in South America with 150 hp under the hood? That would probably give…

The current news at Dacia is the Manifesto concept car, a cute little Buggy that should attract customers at the Paris Motor Show. While I was on the stand, customers will see the rollout of the new brand identity across the range with scenery highlighting a cooler repositioning and open-air type of leisure. In this new search I am not sure there is room for a label “DS”, Dacia Sport. A label that we wanted to put on the Sandero.

Something to spice up the city sedan and legitimately take the torch from the Renault Sandero RS, the bombinette marketed in South America from 2015 to 2021. Acting there as Clio Sport, it housed under its hood a 2.0 naturally aspirated engine with a power of around 150 hp for a torque value of 200 Nm, that is, a technical sheet that is definitely quite close to that of the Renault Clio Williams. One block, local market, requires drinkable gasoline like pure ethanol.

A base of Sandero Stepway

Against all expectations, the Dacia Sandero Stepway body kit (in the background) lends itself well to the realization of a Sandero DS (Dacia Sport).
Against all expectations, the Dacia Sandero Stepway body kit (in the background) lends itself well to the realization of a Sandero DS (Dacia Sport).© Didier RIC

To compose our explosive cocktail, despite the fantasy of the theme, we never lost sight of the economic equation. Likewise, the base is that of the Dacia Sandero Stepway -the range has just received some technical modifications- whose body can deviate quite easily from its initial vocation. Forget the adventurous spirit, make way for a more racing philosophy. The wing extensions are very useful for housing large wheels whose design evokes those of the Renault Clio Williams.

The same goes for the front bumper, a bit transformed, but not too much, let’s remember, so as not to strain the budget. The protective skid under the bumper was reshaped while the sills were smoothed out. The grille has been replaced to adopt the brand’s new light signature. Finally, some inexpensive stickers top it all off.

What cardboard under the hood of this spicy Dacia Sandero?

This Renault Sandero RS sold in South America has rear lights in two parts that are somewhat reminiscent of those of the Clio 5, which is not present in this market.
This Renault Sandero RS sold in South America has rear lights in two parts that are somewhat reminiscent of those of the Clio 5, which is not present in this market.© DR

If the issue of cost price was not on the table, the 1.8 TCe engine from the Alpine A110 would be welcome under the hood of this Sandero DS. With more reasonable specifications, the 1.3 TCe three-cylinder engine pushed to 160/180 hp is more than enough and does not require revision of the entire chassis. The idea is not to target a luxury sports car of the 205 GTI type, but a 205 Rallye (also with a displacement of 1.3) more in the “intelligent” spirit of the Dacia brand. What do you think ?

Published in 09/24/2022 Updated 09/24/2022

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