Dacia, like Skoda, was established in 1966 as a government-owned carmaker but was sold off to Renault in 1999. Under the French carmaker, the company was able to develop further and is today the largest company (by revenue) in its home country of Romania.

Over the years, Dacia has had a firm niche at the lower end of the European market, offering cars with modern features and technology at affordable prices. Like other carmakers, Dacia is constantly looking ahead to see how its products can evolve as customer needs and social expectations change.

Its ‘rolling lab’ is the Manifesto, a concept car which contains new ideas and innovations that could be available in future models – though the company says its design is not necessarily related to any upcoming model.


Speed doesn’t kill – it’s the driver behind the steering wheel who kills himself or others because he or she does not drive in a safe manner. In a perfect world, there would be no need to speedtraps, speed limits and speedbumps because every motorist would know how to drive sensibly and safely according to the conditions. Unfortunately, the world is not perfect where motoring attitudes are concerned and because of the reckless drivers who cause accidents – some fatal – the rest of us are also constrained by measures meant to keep us under control.

For decades, manufacturers have tried to find ways to address accidents with their vehicles and because they could not control the attitude of the driver, they instead made their cars as safe as possible, providing sufficient protection when an accident occurred. Then they also added driver assistance features to help drivers keep their cars under control, or to take actions to prevent accidents.

Still, the accident numbers are high, even in developed countries. Police still issue thousands of summonses for speed limits being exceeded. As one way to reduce accidents, Volvo made a decision in 2019 that all its vehicles would have the maximum speed limited to 180 km/h. Regardless of how powerful they are, the top speed will be fixed with the hope that it will make a difference over time.

Speed-limit policy starts in 2022
Now the Renault Group is doing the same thing, announcing recently that it will limit the top speed of models of the Renault as well as Dacia brands to 180 km/h as well. The first model in 2022 to be subject to this policy will be the Megane-E which will come equipped with an automatic speed limit adjuster, set by default to prevent it from going faster than 180 km/h. However, high-performance models may not have a speed-limiter.

This move is just one part of the carmaker’s Safety Plan in which it strives to optimise safety for its  employees and all those who use its vehicles. The plan covers Prevention and Rescue, with the former encompassing ‘Detect and Inform’, Guide, and ‘Act’. For Rescue, the company will provide access for first responders at accident sites as well as install a Rescue Code to help them.

To ‘Detect and Inform’, Renault will install equipment in vehicles that will generate a ‘Safety Score’. This will be based on an analysis of driving data using sensors around the vehicle. By being aware of this ‘Safety Score’, it is hoped that safer driving will be encouraged.

To ‘Guide’ drivers is a ‘Safety Coach’ which can process road and traffic data to inform drivers of potential risks on their route. It can also give real-time warnings on danger-prone areas. Ultimately, greater awareness of hazards along the road should help reduce the chances of an accident occurring.

‘Act’, which uses ‘a fail-safe mechanism’ is likely to be a pro-active and autonomous system that assist drivers, which is available with other brands nowadays. The mechanism will trigger automatically in the event of a clear and present danger (eg a dangerous turn, loss of steering wheel control for a prolonged period, drowsiness, etc.). With a ‘Safe Guardian’, the vehicle will slow down and return to a safe driving mode.

How fast rescue teams can extract occupants from a vehicle in an accident is crucial and Renault is working to make it as fast as possible.

Helping rescuers work faster
The attention given to first responders – the people who reach an accident site first and can provide assistance  – is aimed at reducing emergency response time and give emergency services easy vehicle access in the event of an accident.

The Renault Group has also developed two major innovations, which will be rolled out on all future releases in Europe. The first is called ‘Fire-fighter access’ which will help fire-fighters put out accidental battery fires (which can occur mainly in electrified vehicles). It considerably reduces response time (from nearly 2 hours to only a few minutes). Already a feature on electric vehicles, it will be added to all future hybrid rechargeable and electric models of the Group.

Each vehicle will have a ‘Rescue Code’, and this is a QR code to help first responders identify a vehicle and access its structural information. This can help them safely and quickly reach and extract the occupants. The Renault Group has already trained fire-fighters in 12 countries in Europe on how to use the code, while also donating several hundred vehicles to be used for training purposes.

Dacia, the Romanian carmaker that is part of the Renault Group, may not have a high profile in the global auto industry but it’s been pretty good at drawing from the technical pool of the group and the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance. As a result, it has produced competitive products which enjoy a following in 44 markets.

The company is now looking at new horizons in the C-segment and has developed a concept model to gauge response. It is likely that this will be positioned as a range-topper when it goes into production by 2025.

=2021 Dacia Bigster Concept

C-segment SUV, B-segment price
Known as the Bigster, the 4.5 metre SUV proposal is a roomy and robust vehicle  with a target cost of the B-segment. It will use the modular CMF-B platform which was unveiled to the public at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show. The platform is designed to be used for a wide range of models and embodies the Drive the Future plan, featuring electric engines, advanced driving aids approaching self-driving technology and advanced connectivity technologies.

The CMF-B platform (already used for the new Sandero) will replace the three platforms previously used by Renault and Nissan (including the Micra and Clio IV platforms) and 85% of its components are new (compared with the Clio IV platform).

2021 Dacia Bigster Concept

New design language
The Y-shaped lighting signature highlights the SUV’s bold and assertive style. This is an element in the brand’s new design language which appears to still be evolving. There is no chrome trim or imitation-aluminium, and the Bigster Concept uses only raw recycled plastics for all exterior protective panels.

2021 Dacia Bigster Concept

2021 Dacia Bigster Concept

2021 Dacia Bigster Concept

The generous outside dimensions suggest a very spacious interior. The dark green coat underpins ‘the adventurous explorer’ within.

Powertrains for the Bigster concept will be advanced and electrified, with hybrids and what the company refers to as ‘alternative energy’ (probably pure EV).

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