New six-speed autobox lets Duster simply eat sand dunes
THE Renault Duster has seen over 12 000 sales since its 2013 launch, many of them to rental agencies, where the operators sing this tough little sport ute’s praises.
Now Renault has added a second clutch in the automatic gearbox to ensure tourists renting a Duster can kick dust in the eyes of any manual 4x4 in the desert. Renault said in a statement the Renault Duster range has been further enhanced with the introduction of the new Efficient Dual Clutch (EDC) automatic model.
Dual-clutch gearboxes do not have torque converters, making them more efficient than normal one-clutch auto boxes.
Renault’s EDC has six forward ratios with the ideal gear selected by an electronic control unit. The EDC is mated exclusively to the 1.5 dCi engine with an output of 80 kW and 250 Nm, delivering a claimed fuel consumption of 4,8 litres/ 100 km. Renault said this “dry” dual clutch system combines the comfort of an automatic and the responsiveness of a manual — offering flexibility and fuel efficiency.
From experience with automatic transmissions on the Kalahari’s sand dunes, we can add that the six-speed EDC will also enable the Duster to keep going over sand instead of digging in.
In fact, the 4x4 Duster has remarkable off-road capabilities, with a ground clearance of 21 cm and good approach and departure angles.
Like most all-wheel drive cars today, the Duster comes with three transmission modes. 2WD allows for the engine torque to be distributed to the front wheels.
Push the lock button and the engine’s torque gets distribution to all four wheels.
Automatic mode sends the turning power to the wheel with the most traction. ABS, Emergency Brake Assist, and driver and passenger airbags (front and side) come standard in the Duster Model range, with ESP with traction control on the 4x4 and 4x2 EDC ensuring higher levels of safety.
The Duster models also come standard with a five-year or 150 000 km mechanical warranty, a three-year or 45 000 km service plan (with service intervals at 15 000 km intervals) and a six-year anticorrosion warranty.
Prices for the Dusters on sale in SA start at R239 900 for the Duster 1,6 Expression 4x2 (77 kW) petrol and tops out at R304 900 for the Duster 1,5 dCi Dynamique 4x4 80kW diesel, while the new Duster 1.5 dCi Dynamique EDC (80 kW) diesel sells for R299 900.
The 2017 Renault Duster automatic offers the right ratios for sand.