Renault’s low-cost division Dacia has already embraced electrification with the zero-emissions Spring, a made-in-China small EV hatchback that will be imported to Europe starting later this year. It now appears the Romanian marque is also preparing its very first production vehicle to feature a hybrid powertrain. Previewed at the beginning of the year by the Bigster concept seen here, the compact SUV will allegedly debut as a production model as early as 2022.
By riding on Renault’s CMF-B platform, it means the Dacia Bigster can accommodate a hybrid powertrain. It could inherit the hybrid setup from the Clio E-Tech, with a naturally aspirated 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine combined with two electric motors, an automatic transmission, and a 1.2-kWh battery pack. This setup allows the French supermini to start in electric mode and remain in pure EV mode for up to 80 percent of the time during city driving.
Another scenario would be for the Dacia Bigster to utilize Renault’s newly announced hybrid setup with a three-cylinder 1.2-liter teamed up with an electric motor. However, that seems unlikely at this point as the electrified setup will have 200 horsepower, which seems a bit too much for a Dacia. Needless to say, the beefier 280-hp PHEV specification with all-wheel drive confirmed to debut in 2024 also seems too sophisticated for a budget-friendly compact SUV.
The Spring EV and hybrid Bigster will kick-start Dacia’s electrification agenda as the latest-generation Logan sedan and Sandero hatchback are also rumored to adopt a hybrid setup in the coming years. Logic tells us it will be adapted from the Clio E-Tech since the cars share the same underpinnings, albeit in a more basic configuration for the Dacia models to enable a lower asking price.
As for the Bigster, it will also be offered with conventional engines as well as a bi-fuel powertrain compatible with gasoline and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to mirror existing models in Dacia’s lineup. The all-electric Spring was an instant hit in Europe from the moment the order books were opened, and with the Bigster shaping up to be one of the cheapest hybrid SUVs on the Old Continent, it too is shaping up to be a commercial success.
Source: Auto Express