Some of us might not have heard about Dacia before, but in Europe, this is a rather popular car brand, it is a kind of subsidiary of Renault, one of the largest car builders in France, and Dacia is marketed as a make that offers the essentials, but not much more, and that translates into a very competitive price point, a Dacia could even be called cheap compared to other makes in the same segment, but they are still a very nice alternative, and when they come up with a concept car, you just can’t disregard it, especially when it’s the Manifesto Concept.
The Manifesto Concept is a perfect example of what we all expect from Dacia, a robust off-road vehicle that brings you the essentials at an affordable price point, and even more so as an environmentally efficient car, but make no mistake, the Manifesto isn’t a preview of a new Dacia model to be unveiled any time soon, Manifesto is a test lab for ideas that might trickle down to actual production models in the future, but for now, it’s all about being innovative without any production versions.
Dacia already has the Duster, a mid-size SUV model that is rather popular in Europe, but Manifesto takes the outdoors concept a lot further, a rugged car that can easily be taken off the beaten track, for those that want to have fun in outdoor pursuits, redefining the essentials while still offering an ever simpler and more genuine experience, this is an ‘open-style’ car, there are no doors or windows between the occupants and the nature out there, you don’t even get a windshield so you are really fully immersed in nature.
There is no tailgate on the Manifesto Concept, instead, you get a hard-wearing workbench to prepare for open-air activities, but even in the great outdoors you can remain ‘connected’ through Dacia’s simple, effective and economical Bring-Your-Own-Device approach, which allows you to fully integrate your smartphone into the dashboard and on-board computer, keep in mind this ingenious system is already available on several of the brand’s current models, but Manifesto shows the next evolution of this interesting feature.
And Manifesto comes with another rather innovative feature … just one headlight. Yes, you are reading that correctly, the Manifesto Concept has one, multi-feature headlight that provides all the light you might need, even when you’re out on a track in the pitch black of night, and what’s even more, it can also be detached to be used as a powerful torchlight!
The various Dacia cars we know in Europe are already famous for being sturdy and dependable, cars like the Duster, the Jogger, and the Sandero Stepway stand out as cars that customers can count on for their outdoor pursuits, but the new Manifesto Concept pushes the limits even further, turning a car into a go-between by connecting people and nature, Manifesto Concept comes with all the off-road hallmarks, including 4-wheel drive, very generous ride height, large wheels and a body built to withstand the toughest terrain, and even more interesting, it is waterproof: you can clean the inside with a jet washer.
And Dacia also considered practicality, the removable seat coverings become sleeping bags in seconds, while the roof rack can carry all sorts of loads as the carrier bars can shift into a variety of configurations, Dacia has already demonstrated excellence in this area with innovative modular roof bars available on Sandero Stepway and Jogger, soon coming to Duster, a dedicated and removable battery supplies power through a household outlet, turning Manifesto Concept into an energy source for any outdoor activities requiring power.
With Manifesto Concept, Dacia is proudly showing its vision for a vehicle with a minimal environmental footprint being both compact and lightweight, it consumes less energy, and the main plastic body parts contain a significant portion of recycled material. Called Starkle®, it is made from already processed polypropylene, with a flecked effect, while 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 and the concept rides on airless tires are another innovative feature, as they aim for environmental friendliness and savings, the underlying principle is durability as tires are puncture-proof and last for as long as the vehicle.
Commenting on Manifesto, 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 innovations – some involve extreme implementation, but they are still affordable for customers. We will be using a few of them on future Dacia models.”
Lionel Jaillet, Dacia Product Performance Director, said: “We want to build a range of products that strengthens our brand promise, focusing on the essentials and adapting our vehicles for outdoor activities. Beyond our models, we are also working on innovative features that match our customers’ needs and lifestyles even more closely. Manifesto Concept is a ‘lab’ to try out and mock up new ideas. The version you can see today will keep on evolving as we keep on exploring! So don’t miss the next models: they will be ever smarter, ever more tailored to outdoor activities, and ever more Dacia!”