You may not be familiar with Romanian automaker Dacia, but the company is coming to the U.S. this summer -- for a racing event, at least. Dacia’s latest venture into motorsports is the Duster “No Limit” race car, which will compete in this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
Loosely inspired by the production Dacia Duster SUV, the Duster “No Limit” will enter the Pikes Peak “Unlimited” class. It was built by Renault Sport Technologies and French engineering group Tork Engineering, and features a tubular frame wearing a custom fiberglass body.
At the car’s heart is an engine poached from the Nissan GT-R, a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V-6 that’s been tweaked for ratings of 850 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. (The factory-baked 2012 GT-R pushes 530 hp and 448 lb-ft.) Power is transmitted through a Sadev six-speed sequential transmission.
Key chassis components include 18-inch wheels shod in Pirelli tires, 13.9-inch front brake discs, and Ohlins dampers. The Duster “No Limit” is said to weigh just 2090 pounds. Dacia says all the aerodynamic add-ons, including a big front splitter and a giant rear wing resembling a box kite, were all tested in the wind tunnel for maximum performance. “The rear wings are especially impressive,” says Dacia representatives, who appear to be masters in the art of understatement.
This year’s Pikes Peak race takes place in Colorado on June 26. Dacia’s car will be piloted by Jean-Philippe Dayraut, whose résumé includes winning the French Trophée Andros three times.