The Dacia Manifesto battery-electric buggy concept is exactly what the name says — what the brand represents when its three pillars are stripped of static. The pillars are “Essential but cool,” “Robust and outdoor” and “Eco-smart.” What’s left out of that is a company-wide mission to help owners embrace outdoor adventure. On the showroom floor, that means accessories like the prototype rooftop tent and camp mattress for the Jogger that should hit the market next year. Conceptually, the Manifesto shows how far Dacia could go for truly gung-ho wilderness types.
With this concept, the first pillar might better be put, “Essential is cool.” Designers got rid of everything they could, and gave most of what’s left more than one use. Looking more like a super compact buggy at just under 12 feet long, there’s no glasshouse because there’s no glass, nor are there doors. The body panels are a composite Dacia calls Starkle, made of 20% recycled plastic. The panels are occasionally interrupted by the YouClip system, which looks like pegboard with built in bungee attachments, allowing pilots to easily strap bags and gear to the sides and the roof. Starkle and YouClip are headed for the next generation Dacia Duster crossover. The tires are solid rubber, said to last the life of the Manifesto and obviating the need for a spare. Dacia says it’s talking to tire manufacturers now, but don’t expect to see these up for sale soon.
The company hasn’t mentioned powertrain specs, so we don’t know how much silent motoring it can provide. We do know there’s a removable 2,250-Wh battery in the rear that can power accessories, the Manifesto’s open rear shelf a flat workspace. At the other end, the headlight is better considered a camp lantern, lighting the trail ahead for the Manifesto or, when removed from its socket, lighting the way for hikers. Under that light is a winch.
Inside, the seat covers are also sleeping bags. The steering wheel and instrument panel are covered in cork and recycled rubber, and yes, items can be pinned to the cork. The single screen is water resistant, so the cabin can be hosed with a pressure washer for cleaning. The only other screen would be an occupant’s cellphone, Dacia moving away from built-in infotainment to to having customer plug smartphones in.
Dacia will have the Manifesto on display at the Paris Motor Show that opens on October 17.