El Caminos Are Being Made In Romania By Dacia

Oh, to live in Romania. Then we could buy a new El Camino. OK, maybe not exactly El Caminos but close enough. This is the Dacia Duster pickup. Dacia is part of Renault, which in turn is part of the Renault/Nissan/Mitsubishi consortium. These are actually converted, by hand, into small pickups that started out as Dacia Duster four-door crossovers. Dusters are Renault’s most popular vehicles.

Romturingia takes Dacia Duster four doors and converts them

2021 Dacia Duster pickup conversion | Renault

The conversion is handled by Romturingia which is a specialized coachbuilder in Romania. It has a payload capacity of just over 1,000 lbs. Romturingia takes Duster four doors and converts them by removing the rear portion of the top and closing up the rear doors. A bed floor is added and capping it off is a composite tailgate. Romturingia also built about 500 of the first-gen Dusters back in 2014.

They all come with 16-inch aluminum wheels and Renault’s trusty Blue dCi turbocharged diesel kicking out 115 hp. This isn’t the only small pickup-like crossover that Renault markets. It also produces the Renault Duster Oroch pickup. 

2021 Dacia Duster pickup conversion | Renault

The Oroch pickup retains its four doors and seating for five from the Oroch SUV. Payload capacity is just under a ton so it can handle a bit more hauling than the Dacia Duster pickup. Power is from a 2.0-liter gas burner that pumps out 143 hp. Either a five- or six-speed manual transmission sings through the gears. An automatic was added a year after its debut. 

The Dacia pickup is the first Renault-badged pickup ever

This is the first Renault-badged pickup ever. It is built primarily for the South American market. It has been on sale there since the latter part of 2015. The Oroch pickup is another one of those interesting vehicles we don’t get in the US. The same goes for Dacia.

2021 Dacia Duster SUV | Renault

Car-Based Small Trucks Are Making a Comeback

When released it received a number of Best Truck awards in Europe and South America. Dacia is known for its no-frills, stripped-down affordable vehicles. It may seem like a bit player here because we don’t hear much from them. But Dacia sold over 525,000 vehicles in 2018. Since the Oroch is considered more of a lifestyle vehicle there, the Dacia Duster pickup is more of a utilitarian vehicle. 

Is there a chance that the Dacia Duster pickup might see our shores? No. We doubt it would meet safety requirements like side-door guard beams and crash compliance. But it would be great if some enterprising company used the Duster pickup as a model to apply to Mustangs or Chargers or Camaros