Dacia Spring Electric 65 Review: More Power for the Tiny Urban Car

Dacia has significantly strengthened its so far only electric car, the tiny urban Spring. We drove the novelty with significantly higher performance for the first time in Vienna and here are our first impressions.

When Romania’s Dacia started selling the smallest Spring, it made otherwise expensive electromobility available to lower-income potential customers as well as to those still undecided about purely electric cars. It went on sale in the Czech Republic at the beginning of 2021, and the latest business results show that the car company hit the black. It currently registers more than 110,000 orders in Europe. For 93 percent of clients, it is the first ever electric car, and 72 percent of people are new to the brand.

And now the automaker has decided to solve probably the worst feature of its only electric model so far. A tiny city electric car for daily commuting is finally becoming a pretty normal car for life. The fundamental novelty is the new top variant from the Extreme model series, which is presented with a more powerful engine with the trade name Electric 65. It is presented with almost twice the electric power and much stronger driving dynamics.

New electric motor with 20 horses for good and faster dynamics

With the new Spring Extreme Electric 65, the automaker is targeting customers looking for a faster electric car for the city with better versatility than the base model offered. And the percentage increase in performance is very high, which the technicians achieved mainly by increasing the speed of the electric motor. The Electric 65 tops out at 14,700 rpm, while the base Electric 45 has to settle for 8,500 rpm. The reduction gear has also been newly improved, the gear ratio of which has increased from 7.162 to 12.057.

This together contributed to higher power and stronger torque. The new 65 hp (48 kW) is significantly better than the previous 45 hp (33 kW). And if right now you’re thinking that “sixty-five” horsepower is still not miraculous, look at the real dynamics and increase in overall speed of the Spring. You won’t have to be shy anymore because it can finally be one of the fastest miniature cars on the road today.

Acceleration from zero to fifty is 33 percent faster – from 5.8 seconds of the standard Spring to 3.8 seconds. Acceleration from zero to 100 is faster by 28 percent – ​​from 19.1 seconds to 13.7 seconds. And the significantly more important flexibility, important for overtaking or merging onto the highway, is better by a significant 48 percent. The Spring Electric 65 accelerates from 80 to 120 in 13.5 seconds, while the standard Spring Electric 45 does it in an incredibly long 26.2 seconds.

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And although Dacia has retained the original high-voltage battery with a capacity of 28.6 kWh, with a new engine with higher performance and stronger driving dynamics, it has not significantly limited everyday usability. The Dacia Spring Extreme Electric 65 offers the longest range of 220 km in the combined cycle according to WLTP and up to 305 kilometers in the urban cycle according to WLTP.

A more mature little electric car that you won’t laugh at

To get to know the new improved Dacia Spring Electric 65 for the first time, I went to visit my Austrian neighbors in Vienna. It’s Friday morning rush hour and the hustle and bustle of the big city is starting to come alive. And even here, a significant increase in performance is already easily recognizable. Although the electric motor has a more tepid start and a characteristic linear power curve, the Spring finally has a stronger kick in the back when more forcefully applying the gas for flexible acceleration.

Driving dynamics are better overall and with Spring you will be more nimble when you need to pass from lane to lane and squeeze between moving cars. In particular, backing up in front of a moving truck now feels more pleasant and safer. Our test route takes us through the center of Vienna and we begin to monitor electricity consumption, which is around 8 kWh per 100 kilometers. During longer standing in a queue and constant driving, it increases to approximately 10 kWh.

As the driving speed increases, the unit becomes hungrier and we drive between eighty and ninety outside the city for approximately 14.5 kWh. When we subsequently start to have fun on the circuits, because the better dynamics push the comfortable, but slightly swayed chassis closer to the limits. The Spring feels like a playful electric go-kart, even allowing you to partially limit the stabilization. Up to 52 km/h, the stronger variant can gently rake when exiting corners, at higher speeds, the stabilization is automatically reactivated, and when decelerating below this limit, it turns itself off again (if you turn it off yourself first).

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Even with a slightly more dynamic driving style, we have a real range exceeding 200 kilometers, which is sufficient for normal life in large cities and the surrounding area. There is also a more economical ECO driving mode, with which the engine’s response is dulled to a level reminiscent of the previous variant 45. Thanks to this, you save electrical energy, similar to driving with the air conditioning turned off. You can have the best Spring decently equipped.

When you subsequently need to charge a more powerful Spring, you can simply do it like most previous owners of a weaker model. The car company’s statistics say that 75 percent of users charge their Spring at home, and in 66 percent of cases from an ordinary household outlet. It takes approximately 13 hours to fully charge a small electric car from a standard 230 V socket. The vast majority of owners manage to charge them overnight between individual rides.

At the same time, the results of the surveys indicate that using the Spring as an urban electric car means that only an absolute minimum of owners will at least approach the maximum range in a single day. In the European average, Springies drive 31 kilometers per day with an average speed of 26 kilometers per hour. And when you really need a connection to a fast charger, the car’s electrical architecture can work with a maximum charging power of 30 kW.

New, more stylish Extreme equipment

The most significant innovation of the modernized Spring is a more powerful electric motor with more pleasant driving dynamics, and Dacia is putting it on sale with a new top-of-the-line equipment belonging to the Extreme model range. The electric Spring is characterized by the new Slate blue color, complemented by special copper design accessories. Contrasting copper is on the exterior mirror caps, wheel centers, the Dacia logo on the tailgate and other styling elements. At Spring we also find elements with a topographic motif inspired by contour lines on maps.

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In the more stylish interior, the frames of the air conditioning vents, elements around the central display and decorative elements on the doors are in copper color. Front rubber mats with a “topographic” pattern and specific seat upholstery with the Dacia Link logo and copper stitching are standard.

And how much will you pay for all this? The new, more powerful Dacia Spring with a more powerful Electric 65 unit goes on sale in the Czech Republic at a price of CZK 576,400 and is firmly connected to the new top-of-the-line Extreme equipment. So far, the only weaker Electric 45 engine on our market can only be bought in the cheaper commercial model Dacia Spring Cargo, starting from 538,400 CZK.

2023-05-20 06:01:13
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