Dacia Concept Lab for Future Production Features

Budget brand Dacia has unveiled a concept SUV it hopes will become a mobile laboratory for future technology and features ahead of possible series production.

Its Manifesto Concept hopes to highlight its vision of an essential, cool, robust, affordable and environmentally efficient car. Although it does not prefigure an upcoming model, Manifesto is a lab for ideas with some features available on future vehicles in the Dacia range.

Essentially a take on a Dune buggy, the concept has no barriers between the passengers and the environment – no doors, no windows, no windshield. In preparation for open-air activities, there’s a hard-wearing work surface that serves a variety of purposes instead of a tailgate.

Manifesto Concept demonstrates YouClip, a very simple system to secure a variety of handy and modular accessories. This idea will be built into future Dacia models. Lastly, Manifesto offers a single ultra-powerful headlamp which can also be detached to be used as a torchlight.

Manifesto comes with all the off-road hallmarks, including 4-wheel drive, generous ride height, large wheels and a body built to withstand the toughest terrain. It is waterproof: you can clean the inside with a jet washer. Also, the removable seat coverings become sleeping bags in seconds.

For extra practicality, the roof rack can carry all sorts of loads as the carrier bars can shift into a variety of configurations. A dedicated and removable battery supplies power through a household outlet, turning Manifesto into an energy source for any outdoor activities requiring power.

Its main plastic body parts contain a significant portion of recycled material. Called Starkle, it is made from already processed polypropylene, with a flecked effect. The interior is fitted with natural materials such as the cork covering the dashboard. As with the latest Dacia models, the decorative chrome plating is gone.

The concept airless tires aim for environmental friendliness as well as savings. The underlying principle is durability as tires are puncture-proof and last for as long as the tread depth.

David Durand, Dacia design director said: “At Dacia, we like to keep it real. As we were developing and exploring new ideas, we felt we needed to push them past 3D simulations and see what they look like in real life! As well as being a designer object, Manifesto Concept encapsulates our vision and combines a wide range of innovation – some involve extreme implementation, but they are still affordable for customers. We will be using a few of them on future Dacia models.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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