The Truth About Cars » Duster http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:25:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Duster http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/junkyard-find-1994-plymouth-sundance-duster/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/junkyard-find-1994-plymouth-sundance-duster/#comments Thu, 17 Jan 2013 16:30:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=474153 Not everyone shares my interest in the K-variant Chrysler P platform, so I limit Shadow and Sundance Junkyard Finds to just the more historically significant members of the P family. Like, say, this ’93 Shadow ES, this ’91 Shadow, this ’92 Sundance, and this hard-to-find Sundance America. Today, we’ll be looking at one of the weirdest Sundances of them all: Chrysler’s fourth platform bearing the Duster name.
The P-based Duster was the quickest Duster since the days when you could get an A-body with a 340-cubic-inch V8, thanks to its Mitsubishi V6.
Of course, beating the Turismo- and Volare-based versions wasn’t much of a challenge. Check out this mean-looking hood bulge!

We really can’t talk about any variety of Duster without referring to the infamous “Cocaine Factory” ad for the 1985 Turismo Duster. This may well be the Greatest Car Ad of All Time.
Will we miss the Sundance Duster when the last one is gone?

01 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1994 Plymouth Sundance Duster - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
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Ford EcoSport Pre-Launch: New Fiesta-Based Cute-Ute Is Out In The Third World Wild, But Will It Be The End Of The One World? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/ford-ecosport-pre-launch-new-fiesta-based-cute-ute-is-out-in-the-third-world-wild-but-will-it-be-the-end-of-the-one-world/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/ford-ecosport-pre-launch-new-fiesta-based-cute-ute-is-out-in-the-third-world-wild-but-will-it-be-the-end-of-the-one-world/#comments Wed, 18 Jul 2012 12:35:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=453212 Pressured by the Franco-Romanian Renault-Dacia Duster, Ford is using a pre-launch marketing gimmick to dust drum up interest in their newest offering in Brazil. The cute-ute is called EcoSport. Due to my duty to TTAC readers everywhere, I pledged to pay a deposit of US$2,500 in order to get a crack at the first 2,500 cars that will grace our streets.

Of course, I don’t intend to give them my hard-earned money. (They may count me as a hand-raiser.)

However, I went along in order to find out the price. At R$53,490 (roughly US$27,000), the new Ford is aimed squarely at the Duster. The higher initial asking price could have some prefer the Renault, but I’m pretty sure the car’s modernly handsome looks will give Ford some of the market (and quite possibly the lead) they lost to Renault. It will remain to be seen how many Brazilians will put up with the limitations inherent in this kind of car in order to get a jeepsy look. I’ll bet there will be many!

The car will come with Ford’s new Sigma line of engines. The cars you can buy now come with the Sigma 1.6 16v present in the American Fiesta (and built in Brazil), that produces 110 or 115 hp depending on whether you fill it up with the concoction known as Brazilian gasoline or ethanol. However, in a cruel twist in which Ford acknowledges our still emerging market and thus not-so-worthy status, for Brazil the engine is not fitted with variable valve lifting.

Initially, there will be two trim levels available, the S and the Freestyle. According to Brazilian enthusiast site bestcars.com.br, a 2.0 Titanium EcoSport will be added to the mix later.

So, what do you get by paying what Ford is asking for? For the S you get headlights with LEDs, bumpers painted the same color as the car (yes, the e-mail Ford sent me confirming my participation proudly announced this feature!), electric steering, A/C, power locks, (front) windows and side mirrors, voice-activated Sync system with Bluetooth, frontal airbags and ABS brakes. That’s it. The Freestyle adds for 3 thousand more dollars a visual Freestyle package (whatever that is, but that is how Ford is calling it), 16 inch alloy wheels, and a so-called technology package that includes: trip computer, parking sensors, 4 electric windows with one-touch, hill-holder, ESC and traction control. For a cool US$32,000 you get the Freestyle in its most advanced trim that includes 6 airbags, leather seats and not much else.

So, in stark contrast to the proclaimed One Ford global strategy, Ford is manning up to the reality of the world and offering the Escape/Kuga in Western Europe and the northernmost parts of North America, and the EcoSport pretty much everywhere else. Is this an early sign that the One Ford principle is already passé?

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Renault Duster Captures India http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/renault-duster-captures-india/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/renault-duster-captures-india/#comments Sun, 15 Jul 2012 18:24:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=450764

My last post on TTAC was on the Renault Logan, but the vehicle pictured above, also a Romanian derived Dacia, is one that changed Renault’s fortunes in India overnight. After the Logan was licensed to Mahindra, Renault re-started its India innings with the launch of the Fluence and Koleos in 2011. The French automaker launched a re-badged Nissan Micra (called the Pulse) earlier this year. Renault’s monthly sales after the launch of these three cars revolved around 400 odd units, which equates to an yearly figure of around 5000 units. This gives them a 0.24% market share in India and places them in 13th position.

Earlier this month, Renault India launched the Duster, positioning it as a compact SUV. The Duster is offered with three engines, 1.6-litre petrol which produces 104 PS and the 1.5-litre k9k diesel in two sets of tune – 85 PS and 110 PS. All the engines are mated to a manual gearbox and Renault has tweaked the interiors (added beige inserts) slightly to give them a premium appeal. Prices start at Rs. 7.19 lakhs ($13000) and goes all the way upto Rs. 11.29 lakhs ($20434). These prices are ex-showroom and not inclusive of registration, road tax and insurance costs. So, yes the Duster does look a bit overpriced, considering it is highly localized and India is an export base for the right hand drive Duster.

However, the SUV loving Indians have taken to the Duster like a storm. The vehicle received 4000 bookings on launch day itself and 8000 bookings within a week. As I write this post, Renault has managed to get 10000 bookings for the Duster. That is more than what Renault has sold in the last twelve months in India. Getting inside a Renault dealership is not an easy task, as its crowded like a fish market. Every prospective buyer wants the Duster. There is no alternative to the vehicle and Renault can continue to make hay while the sun shines. The real competitor to the Duster comes in the form of the Ford EcoSport in 2013.

Faisal Ali Khan is the owner/operator of MotorBeam.com, a website covering the auto industry of India.

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Junkyard Find: 1975 Plymouth Duster http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/junkyard-find-1975-plymouth-duster/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/junkyard-find-1975-plymouth-duster/#comments Fri, 06 Jan 2012 14:00:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=424583 During the same trip to a Los Angeles (actually Santa Fe Springs) wrecking yard that produced photographs of this junked ’89 Buick Reatta, I spotted this used-up ’75 Duster. These things were once among the most commonplace vehicles on American roads, and it seemed that most of them were this shade of green.
With the Slant Six or optional 318 V8, the Malaise Era Duster was cheap, reliable (for its time), and slightly sporty transportation. With the 230-horse 360 engine in place, the 3,115-pound Duster would eat up the heavier, less powerful ’75 Chevy Nova with ease. In fact, the power/weight numbers on the ’75 V8 Duster are pretty similar to those of the ’12 Honda Accord… though that comparison falls apart if you look at things like fuel-economy figures, comfort, or interior quality.

Plymouth used the Duster name on several platforms, starting with this one. First there was the “sporty Valiant” 1970-76 Duster, then there was the Turismo-based Duster of 1985-87 (best remembered for the legendary “Cocaine Factory” ad, above), followed by the tape-stripe-inundated Sundance-based Duster of 1992-1994. It’s too bad that Plymouth is gone, because we’d all love to see an Alfa-based Duster.
This one has been picked over pretty well. Since the late Chrysler A-body cars have brake components that bolt onto the 1960s B-bodies, you rarely see a Malaise Dart or Valiant that hasn’t had at least some of its front brake components grabbed by a disc-brake-seeking Belvedere or Coronet owner.

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Wild-Ass Rumour Of The Day: Renault Considering Return To The US? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/12/wild-ass-rumour-of-the-day-renault-considering-return-to-the-us/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/12/wild-ass-rumour-of-the-day-renault-considering-return-to-the-us/#comments Wed, 09 Dec 2009 18:51:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=338717 Too bad Plymouth got to the Duster name first...

Thought, you’d seen the last of Renault in North America? Well, think again and this time, they’re bringing their big guns! The Wall Street Journal [sub] reports that Gerard Detourbet, head of Renault’s entry level division is contemplating selling their low cost cars in South East Asia and North America. “We’re looking at Southeast Asia closely,” he said “We ended up not going there for a variety of reasons. But the idea is that we won’t remain absent from that territory.”

The idea of going to North America will depend of the success of the Dacia Duster, the new low budget SUV (Renault is planning 330k units of annual production). Within Europe and North Africa the Duster will wear the Dacia badge with pride, but outside of those markets, the Duster will wear a Renault badge. This is particularly peculiar, because, like many analysts, I thought Renault would come back to North America via their Japanese partner, Nissan, but it appears I could be wrong. Renault’s future in North America is, according to Monsieur Detourbet, is a low budget car designed for developing markets, with a Renault badge. Bonne Chance!

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