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The next-generation 2018 Dacia Duster has been spied for the first time during hot weather testing in Europe this week, giving us a first look at the little off-roader.

Dacia, the Romanian budget-focused sub-brand of French manufacturer Renault, has offered the Duster since 2010 in overseas markets, including Europe, though it has never made its way to Australia.

The back-to-basics baby off-roader is similar in concept to the ageing Suzuki Jimny Sierra, offering rugged off-road ability for less than the equivalent of $20,000.

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Going by these images of the new model, it appears the Duster’s styling won’t stray far from the boxy current model, though this prototype is wearing fake body panels underneath its swirly black-and-white wrap.

It’s unclear what will power the new-generation model, though it’s likely carryover or revised versions of the current car’s 1.6-litre naturally-aspirated and 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engines, along with a 1.5-litre dCi turbo-diesel mill.

The UK-market Duster is offered with both two- and four-wheel drive, and is exclusively available with a five-speed or six-speed manual transmission depending on engine.

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A main reason the current car hasn’t come to Australia is its three-star Euro NCAP rating, which the Duster received back in 2011.

 

It’s believed the new Dacia Duster will be revealed at the Frankfurt motor show in September.

Australia

Don’t expect to see the Duster in Australia, with a Dacia badge or a Renault one.

Justin Hocevar, managing director for Renault Australia, told CarAdvice this week: “Dacia is not present in our current business plan”.

Looks like we’ll continue to do without the little Duster for the time being.

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