Romanian automaker Dacia is crafting limited-edition versions of its most popular models and wants its online fans to name them.
To mark the initiative, Dacia brought its first such model — the Swiss market-bound Duster Essential — to show off at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.
Creature comforts like power windows and doors, alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity and a new specialty body color (which even covers the bumpers!) are what sets these versions apart from their entry-level brethren. It also puts greater distance between the brand and its crude Eastern Bloc origins.
In a shout-out to its 3,000,000 Facebook fans — a figure heavily touted by the clearly pleased-as-punch company — Dacia will solicit model name ideas from its online community in select countries.
The Renault-owned automaker has seen sales volume grow rapidly in recent years as European consumers snap up its “no frills” vehicles in the face of dodgy economic conditions. Having set a sales record last year, Dacia must be wanting to put some gloss on its offerings, now that they have become so well known.
The company chose Geneva to emphasize another convenience it’s inserting in its products — a five-speed automated transmission, which is now available in diesel models after being launched last fall.
Always one to keep an eye on costs, Dacia’s Easy-R automated manual transmission is designed to undercut the price of a conventional automatic while appealing to a growing number of Europeans who are “going American” and kicking the stick shift to the curb.
The Easy-R incorporates a crawl mode for stop-and-go traffic and a hill hold feature for making life easier when you’re navigating the Carpathians.
Who wouldn’t like that … on Facebook?
[Images: Renault Group]