The Fiat FCC4 wasn't the only interesting utility vehicle concept to come out of the recent São Paulo Motor Show. Renault experimented with a sporty pickup version of the Dacia Duster SUV, showing how the platform could haul five people with a bed full of gear.
Renault has plans to launch at least two pickup trucks in the South American market, where it estimates close to 75 percent of light commercial vehicles are pickups. The Duster Oroch concept shows what a particularly sporty South American small pickup might look like.
"The Duster Oroch is a concrete illustration of our strategy to develop products tailored to our Latin American markets," says Denis Barbier, Renault's senior vice president and chairman of the Americas Region. "Based on the Duster, which is one of our best-selling models in the region, the show car explores the world of pick-ups – a segment we’re absent from at the moment but which totals over 900,000 vehicles sold each year."
Given that the Duster Oroch concept is based on a crossover, we'd expect it to have more the feel of a utility/pickup car than a small pickup truck. However, with its high ground clearance, squarish wheel arches, large bumpers, strong, sharp lines, and roof rails, it manages to feel more like a truck. It definitely has a more legitimate utility look than the Duster Pick-Up that Dacia developed recently for Romania's OMV Petrom oil and gas group (below).
The Duster Oroch owes much of its sporty styling to the wind. Renault's Latin America design center developed the concept with kitesurfing in mind. The rear was purpose-built for storing kitesurfing gear, and the white-and-orange paint scheme also takes its inspiration from the sport, presumably the sun-baked sands from which kite surfers launch.
Adding to the Oroch's action sports-derived design are a pair of rear-mounted cameras with respective lens angles of 80° and 140°. These cameras aren't designed for backup or traffic monitoring, but for filming great moments of windsurfing and outdoor adventure. The cameras are controlled via a rotary knob inside the cabin, and the multimedia display shows the footage in real time, providing a versatile filming platform on wheels.
Another feature designed to enhance the concept's appeal amongst the wind-, surf- and adrenaline-hunting crowd is the "Cover Carving" technology used in the seat construction. The seats pack an extra layer of foam to deliver added absorption and comfort in rougher driving conditions.
More generally, the Oroch fuses Dacia's new styling motif into the front-end, along with some cues from the D-Cross concept car Dacia showed in São Paulo two years ago. It stands on 18-in wheels with 255/60 tires and has a panoramic glass roof that lets the sunlight cascade down into the five-seat interior. That interior ties into the greater look by way of orange highlights set against the charcoal background. The dashboard, door inserts and select seat components are made from a neoprene-like material that recalls wetsuits.
Renault doesn't offer any powertrain or equipment details for the Duster Oroch, but it seems safe to assume that the concept is imagined as a 4x4-equipped Duster.
We've included several pictures of the OMV fleet Duster Pick-Up in the gallery so you can compare concept with reality. Sound off in the comments section about which you prefer.