“Dacia’s Modernization in the 90s: How Italian Design Saved the Brand”

In the 1990s, the Romanian car manufacturer Dacia was not doing very well. A new model with a modern Italian design helped her.

Dacia’s story is in many ways similar to other automobile companies of the former Eastern Bloc, which had to adapt to a significantly new situation after the fall of the Iron Curtain.

Dacia after the fall of the Iron Curtain

At that time, Dacia produced vehicles still based on the 1300 model, a licensed Renault 12 – and therefore a car with roots in the 1960s. Although the car gradually went through several significant modernizations, utility versions derived from it or the 1320 hatchback (after the Romanian revolution 1325 Liberta) were also created, but the manufacturer needed something new.

Nova: Dacia’s first in-house development

In 1995, the Nova arrived, the first car that Dacia developed completely in-house, from floor to roof. It was a strange machine that looked like a classic three-seater sedan, but it had a flip-up rear in the style of a liftback. And also one problem – since the development started already in the 80s, the Nova looked rather outdated at the time of its launch. After all, Dacia offered a modernized version just a year later.

However, the management of the Romanian brand was aware that this was still not enough. Therefore, in 1997, the Turin company I.DE.A Institute was approached with the task of designing a modern car for Dacia that would replace the Nova and move the brand into a new era.

D33 concept: A modern car for a new era

The Italians subsequently came up with the D33 concept in collaboration with Dacia engineers. The study featured a compact sedan with a rounded and sleek look that was supposed to appeal to customers in Western Europe as well.

Of course, modern equipment was also expected, the car was to receive ABS, power steering, central locking, airbags or a stereo cassette player. According to available information, petrol units with volumes of 1.4 and 1.6 liters were to take care of the drive, with outputs ranging between 59 and 74 kW.

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The engines were to have four valves per cylinder, multi-point injection and a catalytic converter. A turbodiesel was also reportedly in the plans. In addition to the sedan, Dacia wanted to offer a hatchback, a station wagon, and a utility variant is also mentioned.

Rejection of D33 by Renault and new directions

In 1999, however, Dacia was bought by Renault, which did not see a future in the D33, a car with no relation to the French automaker and its technology, and had other plans for the brand. First came the modernized SupeRNova (2000–2002), then the Solenza (2003–2005), which already partly used Renault technology, and in 2004 the first Logan arrived. And you already know the story…

2023-05-28 13:48:59
#Dacia #Story #Outdated #Models #Modern #Era #History #Ambition #Development

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