The Dacia Duster project was born out of the easy premise that a real need existed in the world for an cheap, convenient and rugged 4x4, a class which is currently not well served. Aware of this gap, the Renault group decided to develop an all-terrain car aimed initially at emerging markets. The needs of European buyers were also taken into account from the project outset.
In emerging markets (russia, Brazil, etc. ), the middle classes aspire to owning a modern vehicle that reflects their social status. At the same time, they want a strong vehicle that is robust, versatile and capable of standing up to climatic demands and conditions that can be both tough and varied (long distances, difficult terrain, use in big built-up areas). The current provide is largely dominated by imported Suvs, which are often priced beyond the means of these middle classes.
In Europe, Dacia's success has highlighted the demand for modern, robust and cheap vehicles. Although the current range of 4x4s and Suvs is quite extensive, it neglects the call for a functional, cheap all-terrain car, favouring instead Suvs that are expensive and often ill-suited to the needs of off-road driving.
At first glance, Dacia Duster is clearly a 4x4. Its front end exudes a sense of ruggedness, with its imposing chrome grille and sump guard also pointing to its clear 4x4 credentials. Seen in profile, its high ground clearance, wide wheel arches and body protection are an open invitation to take on even the toughest surfaces.
People have never tired of talking about that mythical creature who, with his white fur coat and sharp teeth, lives high up in icy mountains. Although they have never met him, people still speak with great conviction of their encounter with that peaceful inhabitant of the dizzying heights, who is explained to have shown many a lost soul the route from the regions of eternal ice to the security of the valley below. Skoda Auto is celebrating a new member of our model range, which has been given the name of that helpful snowman: The Skoda Yeti is launched. The choice of name truly has a deeper significance. The Skoda Yeti is strong, geared to move under difficult conditions and help its passengers along where others give up. But it has the edge on the original Skoda Yeti: Unlike him, it is also happy in warmer areas, finding its way not just in difficult terrain and off road, but with equal confidence and assurance on the road.
These were precisely the aims its developers had in mind during Skoda Yeti's development: The fifth model in the Skoda range would combine these virtues, which have so far been realised by vehicles in completely various segments, but not found together in one car. That is, the handling and driving convenience of traditional mid-range cars, combined with brilliant off-road features. That such a car should also offer above-average room, high carrying capacity and a comprehensive towing capability has raised the stakes considerably.
The result marks a new chapter in the extremely diverse history of Skoda. Although in the past there were a number of off-road cars in the long-established Skoda make, they never even remotely met the high demands of uncompromised suitability for driving on normal, public roads as well as off-road that Skoda Yeti does.
The first notable Skoda off-roader was a prototype of the Skoda Superb 3000 - Kfz 15 (type 956). From 1942 to 1943, it was built as a saloon with a 3. 1 litre, in-line, six cylinder motor and four wheel drive. The type 973 off-road car was manufactured from 1952 to 1956 and left its mark due to its off-road suitability, a wading depth of 600 millimetres, a climbing capability of 85 per cent and impressive handling on the road.