Dacia - do the evolution!
Take Dacia for example. Until very recently, the autogas-powered versions of their smaller models were all motivated by the outdated/well-proven (it's your call which word you choose to define it better) 1,2 l 16V engine good for 75 PS of power. Sufficient, but nothing more. The bigger ones, like the Duster and the Lodgy/Dokker vans, were powered by (equally "technologically mature”) 1,6 l 16V MPI units, developing 105 or 84 PS (in the Duster and Lodgy/Dokker, respectively). With introduction of the Euro 6 imminent and competitors growing stronger, changes had to be introduced to the line-up. And they have.
The Logan/Sandero/Logan MCV trio are about to receive LPG-powered variants of the 0,9-litre (898 cm3, to be precise) TCe 90 engine. Contrary to what the name suggests (larger units from the TCe family feature direct petrol injection), it's an MPI powerplant, although featuring turbocharging for improved power and torque figures. Also, it's a three-cylinder unit. And since we've mentioned TCe engines, there's one coming to the Duster – a 1,2-litre, direct-injected one. However, for now it can only be fueled with petrol, although an autogas conversion is under development.
In the meantime, Duster's 1,6-litre motor has been upgraded to comply with the Euro 6 requirements and will remain on offer. Interestingly, only the 2WD version of the crossover is available with an ex-factory LPG conversion, with its underbody spare wheel replaced with an autogas tank. In some markets, like Poland, the 4WD variant can also be ordered with an LPG system, but it is fitted on the spot, at the dealership. The tank is then placed in the spare wheel well under the boot floor.
As for the Lodgy/Dokker pair, their 1,6-litre, 84 PS units remain largely unchanged, although they too have been modified to comply with Euro 6 requirements. And even though they could, at least theoretically, benefit from switching to the TCe 90 LPG-converted engines, we're not sure customers would be confident enough to buy family vans equipped with 3-cylinder, sub-1-litre powerplants. But we'll have to wait and see what the future holds.
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