Dacia design boss on new Duster: “Don’t touch too much”

David Durand (Credit - Vincent Frappreau) (17)

Exclusive: Dacia design director David Durand chats about the brand-new Dacia, with unseen and exclusive images taken for Car Design News 

From an unglamorous start back in 2010, the Dacia Duster has sold 2.2 million units and is well on its way to becoming an icon. In two generations it has transformed market perceptions from being just a poor-man’s car, to an ‘everyman choice’ – a bit like a modern-day Fiat Panda 4x4.

This change was strongly assisted by astute proportional changes to the 2017 Mk2 model, including a higher beltline and more raked windscreen plus distinctive new exterior LED lights. The car still sells like hot cakes – 197,000 were shifted in 2022 – and now its third-generation model has broken cover.

Using a new platform with electric hybrid engine options, it is expected to start at just under €18,000 from early 2024. On the eve of its unveil, Car Design News had an exclusive chat with its design director, David Durand, about not wrecking the formula while also moving the game on.

David Durand (Credit - Vincent Frappreau) (17)

David Durand with a model of the Bigster concept (Credit: Vincent Frappreau) 

Car Design News: As the current Duster sells so well, surely you wanted to keep most things the same with the Mk3? 

David Durand: Talking to customers they said, ‘Don’t touch it too much!’ We have the Bigster arriving in a year, so it was easy for us not to increase everything, like is so often the case with model replacements, which are longer, higher and more of ‘this’ and ‘that’.

We chose to…

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